Gianni Schicchi

Suor Angelica
Giacomo Puccini

Direction

Valéry Ryvkin

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Linda Brovsky

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Jean-François Revon

Jean-François Revon

Mark Somerfield

Mark Somerfield

Artists

David Small

David Small

Jessica Rivera

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Cindy Sadler

Cindy Sadler

J. Raymond Meyers

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Julia Frenkel

Julia Frenkel

Matthew Treviño

Matthew Treviño

Sara Campbell

Sara Campbell

John Sauvey

John Sauvey

Paul Sahuc

Paul Sahuc

Christopher Carroll

Christopher Carroll

Location

Cast & Credits

Direction
Conductor:

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Stage Director:

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Set Design:

Jean-François Revon

Lighting Design:

Mark Somerfield

Artists
Gianni Schicchi:

David Small

Lauretta:

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Rinuccio:

Tim Accurso

Timothy Accurso joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in September 2018. Tim has been on music staff with Palm Beach Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Seagle Music Colony. Originally from Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania, he completed his undergraduate studies at Susquehanna University in vocal and piano performance. To further his studies in opera, Tim received a Masters of Music in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Dr. Julie Jordan Gunn. Following his studies, Tim became a resident artist with Utah Opera as well as a young artist with Opera Saratoga, where he now spends his summers on staff. Tim spends his time coaching the Chrisman Studio artists, engaging in the education initiatives of Opera Santa Barbara, playing mainstage rehearsals, and performing throughout the community in recitals and events with the company.

Kevin Langan

Kevin Langan earned a sterling reputation as a leading performer in opera and concert with international audiences. Mr. Langan was the last protégé of Walter Legge, the legendary operatic record producer and promoter, and husband to Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. Under their sponsorship, he began his extensive career with a critically acclaimed recital at The Wigmore Hall in London. His “deep, toffee-smooth voice and convincing interpretive abilities” (New York Times) have made him a favorite in opera companies throughout the world. His career currently spans 40 years and over 1400 performances covering a vast repertoire of over 80 roles from early Baroque through 21st Century works, with the majority of his work in Händel, Mozart, and Verdi operas. This season, Mr. Langan returns to Central City Opera as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, performs Osmin in Abduction from the Seraglio with Livermore Valley Opera, reprises his role as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Tampa, and performs the role of Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Boston Baroque. He is also on the voice faculty of Westminster Choir College’s Florence Voice Program in Italy every spring.

Sarah Jane Lind**

Lex Benes

Lex Benes joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in August 2018. He worked previously as an Office Manager for Montessori Center School Santa Barbara and as a Clinician for Lindamood-bell Learning Processes, where he taught reading and comprehension to students with learning disabilities. Lex was a Finalist in the 2016 Music Theory Scholarship Competition, hosted by the Music Association of California Community Colleges in San Diego. He joined the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in January of 2017 for a month-long trip to Bali, Indonesia, where he studied the art of mask making and dance. Since his return, Lex has become an active member of the artistic and educational communities in Santa Barbara. He performs weekly with Gamelan Sinar Surya, a Santa Barbara arts organization dedicated to preserving, teaching, and performing traditional Gamelan music from Northwest Java (Cirebon), Sunda, and Malaysia. Lex is interested in multi-sensory approaches to learning, and its application to the study of Music Theory and Cognition. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Comparative Literature with an emphasis in French from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Joyce Familara

Joyce Familara is a content editor and writer currently based in Santa Barbara, CA. Originally from Los Angeles, she first came to Santa Barbara as an undergrad at UCSB. Originally pursuing a career in publishing, she worked as a copy editor for sports and culture website, Bleacher Report, and as an assistant for a business to government publication in Santa Barbara. She was a contributing writer at MARY, the online literary journal for Saint Mary’s College and recently a participating artist for the exhibition Aesthetic Blitz, curated by Kelsay Meyers for the Asian American Women Artists Association. Joyce has worked for a variety of small businesses in digital and content marketing. Her recent work has focused on blog management and writing for the landscape design community including Eye of the Day Garden Design Center and Montecito Landscape. Joyce holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing – Non Fiction from Saint Mary’s College of California and a BA in English and Law & Society from UCSB.

Barbara Burger

Barbara Burger has enjoyed a long career in public relations and marketing primarily in the performing arts, serving the Santa Barbara Symphony as both Marketing Director and Education Coordinator for many years, and as a marketing consultant for State Street Ballet among other arts organizations. She founded and chaired a citywide alliance of performing arts professionals and is currently president of the Music and Arts Conservatory. Barbara has served on the City Arts Advisory Committee, the County Arts Commission and is a past-vice president the Downtown Organization, for whom she developed the first Downtown Organization Map for tourists now in its 6th edition with a printing of 100,000. She has a BA from Eastern University in Anthropology/Sociology and Masters in Public Service Management from University of Redlands, CA.

Daniel Scofield

 

Pistola / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Juan José de León

 

Doctor Caius / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Courtney McKeown

 

Meg Page / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Melania Taylor Burgess

 

Costume Designer / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

David Gordon

 

Scenic Designer / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Pam Gray

 

Lighting Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Martin Pakledinaz

 

Costume Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Eric Watkins

 

Lighting Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Kristi Johnson

 

Costume Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Trevor Burk

 

Lighting Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Holly Jenkins-Evans

 

Costume Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Eric Allgeier

 

Scenic Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Constantinos Kritikos

 

Scenic Designer /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Pablo Santiago

 

Lighting Designer /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Lighting Designer /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Marcus Dilliard

 

Lighting Designer / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Roger Kirk

 

Costume Designer / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Ken MacDonald

 

Scenic Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

Dana Osborne

 

Costume Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

Helena Kuukka

 

Lighting Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

John Lehmeyer

 

Costume Designer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Giulio Perrone

 

Scenic Designer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Wendy Castellanos-Wolf

 

Choreographer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Choreographer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Constance Hoffmann

 

Costume Designer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

François-Pierre Couture

 

Scenic & Lighting Design /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Scenic & Lighting Design /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015

 

Lighting Design / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

A.T. Jones

Jeff Bruckerhoff

 

Lighting Designer / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Keith Brumley

 

Scenic Designer / Manon

November 2017

 

Scenic Designer / La rondine

April 2017

 

Scenic Designer /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Adrien Roberts

 

Suzy / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster / The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Sally Rose Bates

 

The Monitor / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Linda Di Fiore

 

The Abbess / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Lee Steiner

 

Gherardo / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Jose Maria Condemi

 

Director / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Director / Tosca

November 2013

 

Director / Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Director / Orfeo ed Euridice

April 2012

 

Director / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

2010 – 2015

Jennifer Lindsay

Soprano Jennifer Lindsay has been lauded for her “clever comic ability” and “vocal athleticism” (Naples Daily News). Jennifer joins the Chrisman Studio Artist Program for Opera Santa Barbara 2018/19 season, covering Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and both Mimì and Musetta in La bohème, and singing Mary Warren in The Crucible. Prior to joining Opera Santa Barbara, she will make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Connecticut. Jennifer recently made her role debut as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Pacific Lyric Association alongside Metropolitan Opera tenor Luis Lima. Jennifer is an alumna of the apprentice programs at Opera Southwest, Opera Naples, and the Caramoor Music Festival. Other career highlights include Violetta in La Traviata with Pacific Lyric Association and Lucha in the world premiere of HOPSCOTCH (The Industry). She has also appeared with the LA Philharmonic in conjunction with Beth Morrison Projects singing excerpts from John Adams’ I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, conducted by the composer. Jennifer is also an accomplished orchestral violinist. Last season, she unexpectedly became a viral sensation on social media when she stepped out of the 2nd violin section at the last minute to replace the ailing lead soprano during a dress rehearsal of Aida with the Marina Del Rey Symphony. Jennifer holds degrees from Harvey Mudd College (BS/Mathematics), Columbia University (MS/Operations Research), and Johns Hopkins University (MS/Computer Science) and worked as a software developer for the U.S. Department of Defense before pursuing a career in music. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Susan Aberle

Luvi Avendano

 

Zuniga / Carmen

November 2016

 

Betto di Signa / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Michael Kollmorgen

Michael Kollmorgen, tenor, is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He joins Opera Santa Barbara's Chrisman Studio Artist Program for the 2018-19 Season. Michael has been performing since he was seven years old as a member of the The Tulsa Boy Singers. He attended Oklahoma State University, where his roles included Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Basilio and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Matt/Larry in Face on the Barroom Floor. Michael was also cast as the Duke in Rigoletto and Rodolfo in La Bohème in OSU Opera's production of Love, Lust, & Death: Four Tragic Acts of Love. Michael has also performed in the  Chorus. and he was recently featured as a tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah. Michael attended the University of Houston for his graduate studies, where he performed Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Levin in Anna Karenina, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, Tancredi in The Inspector, and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette. Michael graduated with his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance this past May. Michael has won first place in both the Junior and Senior Men's Division at the Oklahoma National Teachers of Singing competition and was a recipient of the Vocal Music Scholarship at OSU and the Winifred and Maurice Hirsch Memorial Scholarship at UH. Michael currently resides in Houston, Texas, where he teaches Voice and Music Appreciation as an Adjunct Teacher at Lonestar Community College Tomball. He is a student of Joseph Evans.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Corey Bix

Opera News praises Corey Bix for his “clear sense of drama and self-possession, exhibiting sturdy, unwavering control, flinty resonance and confident high notes.”   In the 2017-18 season, he makes his Canadian Opera Company debut as Elemer in Arabella. Last season, he returned to Virginia Opera for his first performances of Max in Der Freischütz, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Énée and Helenus in Les Troyens, and  joined the Metropolitan Opera roster for its production of Der fliegende Holländer. He recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Augustin Moser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and also for its production of Jen?fa, joined Virginia Opera as Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, Austin Lyric Opera to reprise his acclaimed portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, and sang Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City.

Mr. Bix recently made a triumphant role debut as Énée in Les Troyens with San Francisco Opera.  His other recent performances include his European debut and return to Greek National Opera as the Prince in Rusalka with Greek National Opera and the title role of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Washington National Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Fort Worth Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and The Glimmerglass Festival; Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with Los Angeles Opera, Hungarian National Opera, and Arizona Opera; Kaiser in Die Frau ohne Schatten with Oper Graz; Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Theater Kiel; the title role of Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella with the Stadttheater Giesen; Heinrich in Tannhäuser; in addition to joining the Teatro alla Scala and Savonlinna Festival for their productions of Lohengrin and the Cleveland Orchestra for its tour of Daphne.  He has sung both Florestan in Fidelio and Lennie in Of Mice and Men with Utah Opera and Tulsa Opera, Sir Edgar Aubry in Der Vampyr with New Orleans Opera, Aegisth in Elektra with Des Moines Metro Opera, and Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Anchorage Opera.  He sang the First Senator in Die Gezeichneten while covering the role of Albiano under the baton of James Conlon at Los Angeles Opera and joined San Francisco Opera for the Fourth Jew in Salome.  With Santa Fe Opera he covered Yonas in Saariaho’s Adriana Mater, the title role of Lucio Silla, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and sang Dr. Caius in Falstaff and the Second Jew in Salome.  His other recent performances include Don Jose in Carmen with the Aspen Opera Theater with Julius Rudel conducting as well as with the Glacier Symphony in Montana, Tamino in the workshop of the family version of Die Zauberflöte with the Metropolitan Opera, and Sam in Susannah with New York Opera Projects.

Mr. Bix joined the American Symphony Orchestra for Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3, Pharaoh in Dessau’s Hagadah shel Pessach, and Pheobus de Chateuoers in Schmidt’s Notre Dame, the Cathedral Choral Society for Janá?ek’s Glagolitic Mass at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., and Palm Beach Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem.  At the Bard Music Festival, he sang excerpts of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in concert along with a recital of German and joined the Wagner Society of Washington D.C. for a concert that included excerpts of Siegmund in Die Walküre and Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.  He sang the Fourth Jew in concert performances of Salome with Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  He presented a recital with soprano Lauren Flanigan under the auspices of the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library as well as solo programs for the Wagner Society of New York and at his alma mater of Simpson College.

Mr. Bix is the 2008 winner of the Robert Lauch Memorial Grant from the Wagner Society of New York and the 2007 winner of the George London/Kirsten Flagstad Award for a singer with potential for a Wagnerian career as well as the foundation’s prestigious Vienna Prize.  Additionally, he has been a prizewinner in both the New England and Southeast regions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  He is a former member of the apprentice programs of the Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera and earned a Master of Music from New England Conservatory and his Bachelor of Music from Simpson College.

www.coreybix.com

Wayne Tigges

Wayne Tigges (Bass-Baritone) is quickly establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in the opera world today. He has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world including: The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera del Liceu, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Teatro du Capitol Toulouse, among others.  Mr. Tigges Enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (12 roles with the company), San Francisco Opera (10 roles with the company), and the Santa Fe Opera (7 roles with the company).  In addition, he will be making his debuts at  Philadelphia Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Palm Beach Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Des Moines Metro Opera in the near future. Mr. Tigges has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including: the NY Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, among others.  He has worked with such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pierre Boulez, Nello Santi, Bruno Bartoletti, Sir Mark Elder, James Conlon,  Alan Gilbert, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Stephan Deneve, and Harry Bicket.  Mr. Tigges repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John's Passion, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor, Mendelsohnn's Elijah, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Rossignol, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Neilson's Symphony #3, and Zemlinsky's Psalm #3. Lauded by the Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark, and beautiful legato, Mr. Tigges is equally at home doing roles that require vocal acrobats, (roles in Handel, Rossini Opera), and roles that require significantly more heft (Wagner, Strauss, Verdi).  He has been involved in 7 world premieres, and has over 60 roles in his repertoire.

www.waynetigges.co

Stephanie Havey

Winner of the Adelaide Bishop award for artistic quality and winner of the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase, Stephanie Havey has directed for Opera Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Omaha, North Carolina Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Syracuse Opera, and Shreveport Opera.  Ms. Havey's new productions have been featured at Curtis Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Tulsa Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera North, Opera NEO, Opera Fayetteville, and Opera in the Heights.  Recently she joined the staging staff at San Francisco Opera and The Santa Fe Opera.

Upcoming engagements include Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, North American New Opera Workshop, and Lyrique-en-mer International Festival de Bell-Ile.

During her two seasons as the first Resident Artist Stage Director for the Pittsburgh Opera, she received rave reviews for her new production of and directed numerous productions and a staged recital series in the Opera Studio.  Professional credits also include engagements with Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, Orlando Opera, and Opera New Jersey.

Ms. Havey has worked extensively with Young Artist training programs including Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera North, OperaNEO, University of Delaware, and the Florida State Opera.  From 2007-2009, she was the Director of Opera Workshop at Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University in Nashville.

www.stephaniehavey.com

Audrey Babcock

Audrey Babcock is an award-winning mezzo-soprano who is quickly gaining notoriety for her commanding, powerful performances as Carmen and her dark, hypnotic portrayals of Maddalena in Rigoletto. As Carmen, Ms. Babcock made her French debut with the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer and has performed the role with Florentine Opera, Nashville Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, San Antonio Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, and Utah Festival Opera where The Salt Lake Tribune wrote “Audrey Babcock's performance as Carmen was a spellbinding tour de force...from the moment she took the stage her self-assured characterization was mesmerizing ...Babcock's caramel-hued mezzo was a pleasure…her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthy allure.”

Widely recognized as a choice singer for new works, Ms. Babcock has premiered several new operas including Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin (NY Premiere - Dicapo Opera), With Blood, With Ink (World Premiere - Fort Worth Opera), La Reina (American Lyric Theater, NY and Prototype Festival), The Poe Project (American Lyric Theater), and appeared as Mother in Winter’s Tale with Beth Morrison’s Prototype Festival in NYC in 2015. The 2016-2017 season included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (New Orleans Opera), Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha (Utah Opera), Maddalena in Rigoletto (Palm Beach Opera), Carmen (Dayton Opera & Fort Worth Opera), and Mrs. Mister in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock (Opera Saratoga). The 2017-2018 season includes Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Symphony, the Secretary in The Consul with Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, and the title role in Maria de Buenos Aires with San Diego Opera.

www.audreybabcock.com

Anya Matanovic

Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera’s. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).

This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony, and join the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, covering the role of Ginevra in Handel's Ariodante.

Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic (ma ta’ no vich) made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).

This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, and make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony. The 2016-2017 season began with an anticipated return to Seattle Opera, as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. The season also included notable role debuts, including Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progresswith Boston Lyric Opera, and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also appeared in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Matanovic’s 2015-2016 season featured a debut with New Orleans Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus.

The 2014-2015 season brought anticipated role debuts for Ms. Matanovic, as Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera, as well as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in a return to Kentucky Opera. In the 2013-2014 season the soprano debuted with Opera Memphis, as Gilda in Rigoletto, Arizona Opera, for Musetta in La bohème, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, for Carmina Burana under Alastair Willis, and made a return to the Boston Youth Symphony, as Pamina in The Magic Flute.

During the 2012-2013 season, Anya Matanovic returned to Seattle Opera for Marzelline in Fidelio, and was praised for her “crystalline” and “substantial” tone (Seen and Heard International). She made her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and sang Pamina with both the Crested Butte Music Festival and Utah Opera. She closed the season as Wanda in a new production of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera.

In the 2010-2011 season, Anya Matanovic essayed her first Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Madison Opera, returned to Seattle Opera for Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, reprised the role of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Utah Opera, and made her anticipated role and company debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla in Carmen, conducted by Music Director David Angus.

The 2009 – 2010 season saw Ms. Matanovic‘s company debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Kentucky Opera, her official stage debut with Seattle Opera, as Nannetta in Falstaff, an appearance at Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park”, and her debut with the Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana.

In the fall of 2008, Ms. Matanovic made her Opera Cleveland debut as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, conducted by Artistic Director Dean Williamson, and returned for their spring production of Verdi’s Falstaff as Nannetta. In summer of 2009, she joined the Seattle Opera artist roster for their internationally revered production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Stephen Wadsworth.

Other notable engagements include New York City Opera, as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, as well as productions of Massenet’s Cendrillon, La bohème, and Purcell’s King Arthur, and Santa Fe Opera, as a “pert, appealing” Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Ms. Matanovic is a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared in their productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, as Flora, Mozart’s La Serva Padrona, as Serpina, and Falstaff, as Nannetta.

Anya Matanovic made her professional opera debut, directly from her undergraduate studies, as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La bohème. She appeared in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music productions of The Crucible, Gianni Schicchi, and Hänsel und Gretel.

Ms. Matanovic is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Portland (OR) Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle. Ms. Matanovic was also a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been a prizewinner in competitions sponsored by such institutions as the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Buffs, Leni Fe Bland, and the Sun Valley Opera.She is a co-founder of NachtMusik, an operatic outreach group dedicated to bringing opera to the many different communities of Los Angeles.

Anya was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Issaquah, Washington to a Slovenian-born father and an American mother. The soprano, her husband, television writer John P. Roche, and their daughter, Zara, spend their time between Vermont, Los Angeles and New York.

www.anyamatanovic.com

Nandani Maria Sinha

Mezzo-soprano Nandani Maria Sinha is an acclaimed performer of German and Indian descent. Born in the United States, Nandani began her formal training in in Germany before returning to the US, where she earned degrees from Cornell University and California State University at Los Angeles. Nandani began the 2017 - 18 season with the Los Angeles Opera Chorus in Beth Morrison Project's production of The Hubble Cantata by Paola Prestini. For Music at Westwood this season, she serves as the Alto Soloist in the Bach Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, and Dvorak's Mass in D. She also sang the Old Lady in Candide for LA Opera's series for educators and was a featured ensemble member for their production of Jack Perla’s Jonah and the Whale. She finishes the season with concert performances of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Palisades Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Bernstein selections with the California Philharmonic. She will also be seen as the Wardrobe in 5 Star Theatricals’ production of Beauty and the Beast, which also stars members of the original Broadway cast. Nandani made her debut with Opera Santa Barbara as La maestra della novizie in Suor Angelica, and returned for recent productions of The Cunning Little Vixen and La Rondine. Other recent highlights include the title role in La Cenerentola (Repertory Opera Company), Amneris in Aida (Marina Del Rey Symphony), The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Malibu Coast Chamber Opera), Mrs. Ott in Susannah (Opera Pasadena), and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Repertory Opera Company. Ms. Sinha has also been a frequent soloist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and a recitalist in London, France, Austria and Germany. Additionally, she has presented recitals throughout South Africa for the No.1 Ladies’ Opera Festival. A great proponent of new music, Nandani has sung in the world premieres of multiple compositions by Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow Maria Newman. Recently, she premiered the role of Lily and Our Lady in the musical Golden with music written by Grammy Award Winner Nathan Wang for the Paderewski Cycle Competition. Ms. Sinha was the first-prize winner in the 2012 Franz Liszt International Competition, and in 2014 she earned two additional International Prizes from the same organization, including a special award for “Best Vocal Interpretation of a Work by Franz Liszt.” Nandani was a winner of the Hollywood Opera Reading Club Vocal Scholarship Competition and has been a recipient of scholarships from the Opera Buffs and Celestial Opera. In 2013 and 2014, she was a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest, where she worked closely with William Bolcom, John Musto, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Susanne Mentzer, Margo Garrett, and Martin Katz.

www.mezzonani.com

Ashley Kay Armstrong

Mezzo-soprano Ashley Kay Armstrong makes her Opera Santa Barbara debut as Olga in Eugene Onegin as a member of the Chrisman Studio Artist program. This past season she was a Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Young Artist, and sang Meg Brockie in Brigadoon and Lady in Waiting in Turandot. She was also an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera and sang Kylie K in the world premiere of Cosmic Ray and the Amazing Chris with Thompson Street Opera. Other highlights in her young career include the title role in Lucrezia and Isabelle Eberhardt (cover) in Song from the Uproar with Chicago Fringe Opera. She also appeared as the alto soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Chicago Sinfonietta. She attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where her roles included Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, Suzette in Bluebeard's Waiting Room, The Wife in The Women, and Spectre/Alto Soloist in The Nightingale.

www.ashleyarmstrongmezzo.com

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Samuel Ramey

For almost three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated astounding versatility, singing roles ranging from Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey’s interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire. In recent seasons, he has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Timur in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turandot. Other recent engagements include Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Rambaldo (La Rondine), and Pope Leo at the Met; Claudius (Hamlet) with Washington National Opera; Scarpia (Tosca) at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Méphistophélès in Nice; and the Grand Inquisitore (Don Carlos) with Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Ramey is well-known for his portrayals of devils and villains; Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust has become his most-performed role with over 200 performances in more than twenty productions. He is equally well-known throughout the world for his performances of Boito’s Mefistofele, including over 70 performances in the Robert Carsen production of this work specifically created for Mr. Ramey. He has also sung many performances of Berlioz’ devil in La damnation de Faust and the sinister Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. In 1996 Mr. Ramey presented a sold-out concert at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall titled "A Date with the Devil" in which he sang fourteen arias representing the core of this repertoire, and he continues to tour this pro gram throughout the world.  Throughout his career, Samuel Ramey has appeared on all the world's greatest stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra de Paris, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro la Fenice, Teatro Colon, and the operas of Munich, Hamburg, Geneva, Florence, Zürich and Amsterdam, among others. He has worked with major conductors including Claudio Abbado, the late Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Julius Rudel, the late Sir Georg Solti, and the late Herbert von Karajan. Samuel Ramey holds the distinction of being the most recorded bass in history. His more than eighty recordings include complete operas, recordings of arias, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums on every major label. In 1998 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. Mr. Ramey is a native of Colby, Kansas.

Yazid Gray

Baritone Yazid Gray is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is a recent graduate of University of Michigan where he received his Master’s in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Stephen Lusmann. While at Michigan, Yazid performed several roles within their main stage opera seasons. These include Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Oliver Jordan in the Michigan premiere of William Bolcom’s newest opera, Dinner at Eight. In the summer of 2018, Yazid joins the Studio Artist Program at Opera Maine where he will sing the role of Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Other operatic roles include Silvio (Pagliacci) and Sid (Albert Herring) with Opera in the Ozarks, Undertaker and Frazier (Porgy and Bess) with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI. He is an alumnus of DePauw University where he studied with Caroline Smith. During his time at DePauw, Yazid sang roles such as Frank (Die Fledermaus), Nardo (La Finta Giardiniera), Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), John Brooke (Little Women), as well as a wide range of operatic and musical theater scenes. He has worked with well-known composers, which include Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Roberto Sierra, Adam Guettel, and Gabriela Frank. Outside of opera, Yazid has performed roles in several musicals such as Jim Conley (Parade) and Hunter Bell ([title of show]), both with DePauw University, Al (The Most Happy Fella) and Ivor (Babes in Arms) with the College Light Opera Company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Nathan Granner

Tenor Nathan Granner, a renowned solo and collaborative artist, has a “vibrant and flexible” voice (The Boston Globe) and “possesses utter control of a ravishing mixed head sound” (Opera News). Mr. Granner uses his voice in styles ranging from opera to jazz and classical cross-over performances. This season, Mr. Granner was seen at Long Beach Opera in the title role in The Invention of Morel by Stewart Copeland of The Police and Jonathan Moore. His diverse repertoire includes Curly in Oklahoma! (Charlottesville Opera) and Kanye West in Hunter Shelby Long’s Fair Looks and True Obedience (known as the “Kardashian opera”, it is set during the hour before Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding). He has also performed Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Rodolfo in La bohème with companies such as Lyric Opera Kansas City, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Spoleto USA, Wolf Trap and Glimmerglass Opera. In the crossover realm, he is a founding member of The American Tenors, whose Sony Masterworks album reached top five in the classical crossover charts. Nathan has also toured extensively with classical guitarist Beau Bledsoe, singing new arrangements of lieder and chanson, flamenco, tango,Turkish music and new compositions. Mr. Granner has also performed at dozens of charitable fundraisers with David Foster and Friends, helping raise tens of millions of dollars to find the cures for Parkinson’s disease, cancer and to aid in Children’s Health, Wildlife Conservation and Substance Abuse.

www.ngranner.com

Eleni Calenos

Greek soprano Eleni Calenos is capturing critics' and audiences' admiration for her warm, beautiful voice and her dignified characterizations. Of her performance as Tosca, Opera News said: "Eleni Calenos gave a performance for the ages, both vocally and dramatically." Recent appearances include Giorgetta in Il Tabarro (Opera Company of Middlebury), Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (Annapolis Opera and Ash Lawn Opera), Tosca (Opera Idaho), Mimì in La bohème (Shreveport Opera and Palm Beach Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Palm Beach Opera), and Desdemona in Otello (Phoenicia International Festival). In the 2016/2017 season, she sang Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica with Opera Delaware, and covered Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly for Glyndebourne Opera. Her repertoire also includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Liù in Turandot, Nedda in Pagliacci, Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Lia in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and the title role in The Merry Widow with companies including Palm Beach Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Idaho, Tulsa Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Zomeropera (Belgium). Her concert repertoire includes Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Verdi's Messa da Requiem, and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Her recordings include Mascagni's Zanetto with Odyssey Opera of Boston, and George Tsontakis' Mirologhia, released on the KOCH International Classics. Ms. Calenos won the Gerda Lissner Foundation award (2010), and was a finalist of the Renata Tebaldi International Vocal Competition in San Marino (2009), and the Concurso del Canto de Bilbao (2008). She was a member of Boston University's Opera Institute and holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College in New York, as well as a Diploma in Violoncello Performance form the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece.

elenicalenos.com

Zach Mendez

Zach Mendez joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in February 2018. A native of Dallas, he moved to Santa Barbara in 2015 to begin his graduate work at UCSB.

Zach has appeared multiple times as a chorus member and soloist with Opera Santa Barbara, and he has sung roles with the UCSB Opera Theater, the California Opera Association, and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. Zach has been featured in concert throughout the United States and in Europe as a young artist in programs including the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti, the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS), and SongFest.

Zach is an active member of the artistic community in Santa Barbara. He sings weekly at the Old Mission as a Mission Schola member and parish cantor. He is also an instructor at the Adderley School for the Performing Arts and the Santa Barbara School of Music.

His experience in the classical music industry and his love of visual art inspired him to start working with a camera. Zach specializes in portrait, lifestyle, and fashion photography, and he is represented by TGS Talent in LA. In 2018 his work was in the top 8% of images chosen to make the finals of the Photographer’s Forum annual college photography competition. His images have been published in Photographer’s Forum, OzShot Magazine, Voice Magazine, and the Santa Barbara Independent.

Zach holds a Masters of Music from the University of California Santa Barbara and a BFA in voice and drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Alison Moritz photo

Alison Moritz

Stage Director Alison Moritz’s recent productions have been lauded as “about as gorgeous and accessible as any opera anywhere” (The Commercial Appeal), and her work has been praised for its “incredible economy of resources, lean production design, and eye for jest and banter” by The Orlando Examiner.

A “rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene” (89.5 Tulsa), Ms. Moritz’s diverse projects for 2017-2018 include the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s newest opera Proving Up (Washington National Opera, AOI), as well as new productions of Orpheus in the Underworld (New Orleans Opera), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Madison Opera), Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Santa Barbara), and a genre-bending triple bill of rarities for Bard Conservatory (Pulcinella, Full Moon in March, and Svadba). This season, Ms. Moritz also directs a new staging of Madama Butterfly (Syracuse Opera), collaborates with IlluminArts to profile artist Ana Mendieta, joins the Santa Fe Opera directing staff, and continues ongoing collaborations with the Resonant Bodies Festival and The Knights.

Alison’s exciting 2016-2017 season included several innovative productions of American operas: The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera), Candide (Orlando Philharmonic), The Tender Land (Crane School of Music), Our Town (Townsend Opera, Fresno Grand Opera), Hydrogen Jukebox (Tri-Cities Opera), Cabildo, and Gallantry (Central City Opera). Recently, the Austin Chronicle named Alison’s production of The Manchurian Candidate the #1 Classical Music/Dance event of 2016, and the production received seven Austin Critic’s Award Nominations and four wins (including “Best Opera Production”).

Previously, Alison served as the Resident Assistant Director at both the Minnesota Opera and The Atlanta Opera. Her professional credits include engagements with Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Memphis, and Chautauqua Opera. As a teacher and guest director, Alison has taught at Eastman School of Music, Maryland Opera Studio, Crane School of Music, and for Steven Blier and Caramoor’s Vocal Rising Stars program.

Alison continues both her acting training and administrative interests and has worked and trained with companies such as the SITI Company of New York City, OPERA America, Geva Theatre Center, Third Rail Projects, Nautilus Music Theater, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. She holds a B.A. in Music and Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.M. from Eastman School of Music, and was the recipient of the 2015-2016 recipient of the SDCF/Kurt Weill Foundation Fellowship. Alison is based in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri.

Vincent Grana

Vincent Grana (Bass) is based in Los Angeles, CA. He has received his B. M. Magna Cum Laude in Music Education and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. At Rutgers, Mr. Grana has received many awards for academic and performing achievements including the Presser Foundation award and the Michael Fardink Memorial Award. He has also performed with the Castleton Festival under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel covering such roles as Benoît and Alcindoro (La bohème), Simone (Gianni Schicchi), and Escamillo in a concert performance of Carmen. Mr. Grana has performed in the Crested Butte Music Festival’s production of L’elisir d’amore (Dulcamara) and has worked with eminent artists such as Samuel Ramey. In 2013, Mr. Grana was named a Philadelphia District winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mr. Grana has also sung with Sarasota Opera as one of their apprentice artists for the final season of the Verdi Cycle. Mr. Grana received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Los Angeles District. He also that same year was a grant recipient of the Opera Buffs in Southern California. Mr. Grana recently debuted at Dayton Opera performing the role of Zuniga in their production of Bizet’s Carmen. This past summer, he performed the role of Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program. Mr. Grana was invited back to Dayton in the fall of 2017 to sing a concert of Bach’s Cantata 80 and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. His 2018 engagements include performing the role of Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, and the officer in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Santa Barbara. In the coming summer, Mr. Grana will perform the role of Doctor Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Aspen Opera Center as a Fellowship artist.

Nathan Stark

 

Don Basilio /
The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Alexander Elliott

 

Figaro / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Linda Van Buren

David Peri

Paksy Plackis-Cheng

William Jones

Carolina Montgomery

J. Gordon Schontzler *

William Ramsay +

Mary Hampson

M

Jayne Menkemeller

Matt Hanscom

 

Monsieur de Brétigny / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Marylove Thralls

Marylove Thralls previously served as a marketing and development associate at Opera Santa Barbara before being named an adjunct professor at Santa Barbara City College.

She has been involved in the performing arts her entire adult life – first in New York, then Tulsa, where she was marketing director for Light Opera Oklahoma and a member of the Tulsa Opera Chorus for several years. Just prior to moving to Santa Barbara in 2003, her chorus master at Tulsa Opera was Kostis Protopapas. Marylove has sung with Opera Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West Summer Festival Opera Chorus, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society.

A member of the City Arts Advisory Committee, Marylove serves on the Board of Santa Barbara Revels and the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation. She has a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and is the author of three books.

Chelsea Melamed photo

Chelsea Melamed

 

Dinah / Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Javotte / Manon

November 2017

 

Chrisman Studio Artist

2017–2018

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren photo

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren

A native of Rome, Pennsylvania, tenor Jonathan Walker-VanKuren holds a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, both in vocal performance. While at MSU, Mr. Walker-VanKuren received the 2016-17 Mackey Scholar of Vocal Music Endowment, which is awarded to one exceptional vocal graduate student each school year. His operatic performances include appearances as Martin in The Tender Land, Leon in Signor Deluso, Reverend Eager in A Room With a View, and, most recently, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Walker-VanKuren made his Beethoven 9 debut with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist. He recently covered the roles of Des Grieux in Manon and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville for Opera Santa Barbara.

Elle Valera

Soprano Elle Valera is a recent alumna of Opera Santa Barbara's Chrisman Studio Artist Program. As part of the program, she sang Berta in The Barber of Seville and Poussette in Manon; she also covered the title role in Manon and both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for the company. She is a recent L.A. District Winner and Western Region Finalist for the Metropolitan Council Auditions. She was a 2017 fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival, where she covered the roles of Feu, Princesse, and Le Rossignol in Ravel's L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. In previous years, she was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, where she performed the roles of Madame Herz in The Impresario and Sarah in The Ballad of Baby Doe, taking home Central City’s McGlone Guild Award for outstanding performance. Elle attended UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music on a full scholarship and received her master’s degree in music in 2014. While at UCLA, she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the title role in Il Segreto di Susanna. Ms. Valera holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of California, Irvine, and is the recipient of several awards, including the 2016 Pasadena Opera Guild Young Artist Award and an Encouragement Award from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Council Auditions in 2014. Beyond opera, Elle is a plus-size model represented by Bicoastal Management and an Instagram influencer and blogger, promoting body positivity and diversity.

Steve Gilbar

Louise Gaylord

Kenneth Fitzpatrick

Léni Fé Bland +

Nick DiNapoli

George DeRado +

Denise DeBellefeuille

Marilyn Crawford

Bonnie Corman *

James Ballantine *

Jim Burkemper +

Sue Birch

Britt Beauvoix

Richard Aberle +

Daniel Hone

Born in San Francisco, Mr. Hone completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics at the University of Illinois. He joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 1968 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and serving as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also held temporary academic appointments at the University of Paris, Oxford University, and Tokyo University. Among other administrative posts at UC Santa Barbara, he has served as Physics Department chairman, deputy director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science. Mr. Hone has been a Board director for Camerata Pacifica, Planned Parenthood, and Ensemble Theatre.

Robert Weinman

Dr. Weinman earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Caltech before pursuing postdoctoral studies in elementary particle theory at Tel Aviv University. He spent his entire career at Northrop, joining the company as a research scientist and later serving as a section manager for the MX missile program. Dr. Weinman was awarded consecutive National Science Foundation and Westinghouse fellowships in the early to mid-1960s. Formerly a Board member for the Music Academy of the West and Long Beach Opera, he has also generously supported Camerata Pacifica, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Opera Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Opera, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Whitney Museum. He currently serves on the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.

Eric Small

Born in Avalon, Catalina Island, Mr. Small completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA before earning a master’s degree at Otis Institute. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 22, he soon became a serious student of Iyengar Yoga, and went on to study with the discipline’s founder, B.K.S. Iyengar, in Pune, India. Mr. Small frequently conducts therapeutic yoga workshops and seminars throughout the United States. Through his Stress Control Systems Trust, based in Montecito, he creates programs specifically for clients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. He was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Small currently serves on the Board of Directors for USC, the Doheny Eye Institute, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Peter Strummer

 

Doctor Bartolo /
The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Cassandra Zoe Velasco

 

Rosina / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Andrew Bidlack

Featured by Opera News as one of their 'top 25 brilliant young artists' (October 2015), tenor Andrew Bidlack began the 2016-17 Season at Dallas Opera where he prepares two new roles: Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Greenhorn/Ishmael in Moby. He develops the role of Christopher Morcom in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing (by Justine Chen and David Simpatico) for American Lyric Theater, and travels to Madison Opera for the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Also in Madison he performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra Principle Organist in a program of arias from Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and other opera favorites. He reprises Rob Hall in a concert performance of Joby Talbot's Everest at Dallas Opera, and Getry's rarely heard opera Zémire et Azor makes great use of the artist's flexible coloratura when he sings the title role at Saratoga Opera.

Recent highlights include his European and UK debut in the challenging role of Private John Ball in In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera's world-premiere by Iain Bell, directed by David Poutney and conducted by Carlo Rizzi with performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; and his Metropolitan Opera of New York debut as Beppe in I pagliacci, where he also sang the Lamplighter while covering Edmondo Manon in Lescaut for which he won critical accolades. At Arizona Opera he joined the production of Florencia en el Amazonas as Arcadio.

Bidlack is a frequent interpreter of contemporary music; he created the roles of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot's Everest at Dallas Opera and that of Irving Tashman in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star at Cincinnati Opera. He workshopped Greenhorn/Ishmael in the developmental production of Moby Dick at San Francisco Opera while he was an Adler Fellow and inaugurated Tandcredi in The Inspector (John Musto) at Wolf Trap. As a Merolino, he created the role of Charles Carter in Thomas Pasatieri's The Hotel Casablanca. Making his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago, he appeared at Carnegie Hall as The Young Collector in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Renée Fleming, a role he also sang in Chicago. At Dallas Opera, he sang Sandy in The Lighthouse for the inception of their Chamber Opera Series.

With a large number of Rossini/Mozart and bel canto roles also to his credit, Andrew has appeared as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte at Florida Grand Opera; Rodrigo in Rossini's Otello at Opera Southwest; Almaviva and Don Ramiro La cenerentola at Opera Omaha; Tonio in La fille du régiment at Palm Beach Opera and PORTopera; Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor at San Francisco Opera; Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore at Empire State Lyric Theater; and Bastien in Bastien and Bastienna at Des Moines Metro Opera.

Josh Shaw

 

Stage Director / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Alex DeSocio

 

Lescaut /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Sarah Coburn

 

Manon Lescaut /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Kristine McIntyre

 

Stage Director /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Elliott Deasy

Elliott Deasy grew up in Tulsa, and holds a degree in music from University of Tulsa. He is an alumnus of Opera SB's Studio Artist Program, where he performed Pasek in The Cunning Little Vixen and Rememdado in Carmen and covered Don Jose and Prunier in La Rondine. He was also a Tulsa Opera Young Artist, covering Rodolfo in La bohème and singing The Messenger in Samson et Dalila. Other highlights in the tenor's young career include Brighella in the Costa Rican premiere of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos for the Jovanes Cantantes in San Jose,  Schubert's Mass in G Major with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, and Basilio in The Bronx Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. His teachers include Peter Strummer and Frank Lopardo.

Sandra Nam

Having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the United States as a solo pianist, Sandra Nam’s recent performances have been at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angles performing Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto and at the University of Music in Vienna, Austria in cooperation with Vienna’s Classical Radio Station Ö1.

Ms. Nam has gained a reputation as a collaborative pianist and performs regularly with instrumental and vocal artists, choirs and in chamber music groups. Opera Santa Barbara marks her first collaboration with an opera company. Additionally, Ms. Nam is an avid supporter of young musicians and launched a concert series that provides opportunities for aspiring musicians under the age of 21 to perform frequently in public.

Born in Los Angeles, Ms. Nam relocated to Vienna, Austria at the age of 10 to pursue her musical studies. Fluent in four languages, she holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria and Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. Upon earning an additional Master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, Ms. Nam was awarded the Ensemble Award and Outstanding Graduate Departmental Award and graduated Pi Kappa Lambda. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate and a Teaching Assistant of the Keyboard Department at USC.

Byron Mayes Photo

Byron Mayes

 

Sam / Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Fiorello / Il barbiere di Siviglia

March 2018

 

Guard / Manon

November 2017

 

Crébillon / La rondine

November 2016

 

Chrisman Studio Artist

2017–2018

Christine Holland

Steven Tompkins

Rebecca Fay

Alissa Anderson

 

The Princess  / Suor Angelica

April 2016

 

Zita / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Marcellina / Le nozze di Figaro

March 2012

 

Flora / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Malcolm MacKenzie

Ryan MacPherson

Rebecca Davis

Christopher Remmel

Daniela Mack

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Patricia Racette

Rosa D'Imperio

Mark Rucker

Joe Goode

Joe Goode is a choreographer, writer, and director widely known as an innovator in the field of dance for his willingness to collide movement with spoken word, song, and visual imagery. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, and the United States Artists Glover Fellowship in 2008. In 2006, Goode directed the opera Transformations for the San Francisco Opera Center. His play Body Familiar, commissioned by the Magic Theatre in 2003, was met with critical acclaim. The Joe Goode Performance Group, formed in 1986, tours regularly throughout the U.S., and has toured internationally to Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Goode is known as a master teacher; his summer workshops in "felt performance" attract participants from around the world, and the company's touring teaching residencies are hugely popular. He is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Goode's performance-installation works have been commissioned by the Fowler Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, Krannert Art Museum, the Capp Street Project, the M.H. de Young Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. His dance theater work has been commissioned by Pennsylvania Ballet, Zenon Dance Company, AXIS Dance Company and Dance Alloy Theater among others. Goode and his work have been recognized by numerous awards for excellence including the American Council on the Arts, the New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), and Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies).

Mark Morash

 

Conductor /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015

 

Conductor / La Serva Padrona
& Trouble in Tahiti

April 2011 (debut)

Peter Lindskoog

 

Rambaldo/ La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Paula Von Simson

Paula Von Simson

Timothy Beenken

Sandra L. Urquhart *

Sandra Urquhart has been very active on the OSB Board serving as both Secretary and as a recent past Board President. She graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Ohio and most recently worked as an RN teaching and specializing in cardiology and cardiac angiography at Cottage Hospital.

 

Judith F. Smith

Joan Rutkowski

Joan Rutkowski joined the Board in 2008 after having served as Artistic Administrator for Opera Santa Barbara (2000-2008). She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Granada Theatre, and served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Music Academy of the West and the Ojai Festival. For 18 years she was Executive Director of Esperia Foundation. She had a distinguished career as an opera singer and vocal teacher/coach and has given masterclasses in the US, China and Taiwan. She holds a M.M. in Opera Performance from USC and as a grand finalist in the San Francisco Opera auditions, was a member of the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera.

Paksy Plackis-Cheng

Paksy is the International Marketing Strategist with Delta Advisory Group, providing sales and marketing consulting to web, mobile and information technology companies. Paksy served in marketing and communications management positions for Openwave Systems Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her career also includes key international marketing management roles at ePresence (formerly Banyan Systems) and consulting for notable software companies in Europe.

Paksy, a Dutch native, earned her B.A. from Erasmus University, Faculty of Economics, the Netherlands. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Mary Penny

Mary has been involved with Opera Santa Barbara's Board of Directors since its beginning, having served as Vice President, Treasurer, and currently as Secretary.  She also sits on the Architectural, Development and Finance Committees, as well as chairing the Human Resources Committee. She retired from her position as CEO of the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter following a career of more than 35 years. She has served on numerous local and national Boards, including the University Club, Woman's Club, American Women for International Understanding, SB Committee on Foreign Relations, American Red Cross Retiree Council, and Santa Barbara Associates. Mary graduated from California State University with a degree in Liberal Arts.

Eric Oltmann

Eric Oltmann is a retired Navy pilot and engineer. In addition to the Opera Board, he serves as President of the Ventura Music Festival. He serves on the Development and Marketing Committees. In addition to his musical interests, he is an avid collector and has been involved in wildlife conservation.

A.C. Moore

A.C. Moore is Chief Investment Strategist for Dunvegan Associates, Inc and has over 30 years of Wall Street experience as a securities analyst, research director and portfolio manager. He was a consultant to the Council of Economic Advisors during two presidential administrations and is among the top most-quoted market strategists in the country and a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and other media outlets. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Wake Forest University and a JD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law. He has served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Symphony Endowment Trust and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA).

Susannah Biller

Marlyn Bernard Bernstein +

Marlyn Bernstein moved to Santa Barbara in 1976, at which time she became involved in her synagogue and has served twice as their president in her twenty-nine years on the Board of Trustees. She is a member of Hadassah, also serving twice as president.

In addition to her service as a Director on the Opera Santa Barbara Board, Marlyn is a member of the board of the Lobero Theater, the Santa Barbara Symphony and Boxtales Theater Co. Marlyn formerly taught Porcelain Art in the Santa Barbara City College Adult Education Division and is a member of both the Santa Barbara Porcelain Artists and Santa Barbara Art Association. Among her great passions are books, jazz, opera, theater, classical music and her nine grandchildren.

Daniel Reicker, Esq.

Dan Reicker is a principal in Reicker, Clough, Pfau, McRoy and Herman LLP. He has practiced business law in Santa Barbara since 1972 with an emphasis in real estate, tax, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of San Francisco, and a J.D. at Hastings College of Law, University of California. He was admitted to the Bar in California and Washington, D.C. Dan has previously served on the opera's Finance Committee and been a member of the board for the past ten years.

Ida Rickborn

Ida Rickborn has served as Secretary and Education Committee (Chair), Finance Committee and Executive Committee during her four-year tenure on the OSB Board. Prior to her retirement from a distinguished teaching career, she served a four-year term as Superintendent of the Goleta Union School District. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of California (UCLA and UCSB respectively).

Simon Williams

Simon Williams, is Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSB where he has taught for more than 25 years. Educated in his native England, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in European Literature. He has served on the OSB Board for the past four years, and currently chairs the Artistic Planning Committee. He is familiar to opera patrons as a frequent lecturer for OSB's Opera on the Go series and for the pre-opera talks prior to all OSB productions.

Nancy Golden*

Nancy Golden is the principal of Golden Direct, a direct mail consulting service provider to environmental, performing arts, human services organizations and museums. Previously, she held a variety of marketing positions at Time, Inc. for 21 years. Golden is a graduate of Russell Sage College with a degree in English Literature. She previously served as a board member from 1999-2002 and as Marketing Committee member since 1999. She currrently chairs the Marketing Committee and serves on the Executive and Development Committees.

Duncan Mellichamp **

Professor Emeritus in the Chemical Engineering Department at UCSB, Duncan Mellichamp earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. He was a founding faculty member of his department at UCSB where he has enjoyed a 40-plus year career. He and his wife Suzanne, were awarded the Santa Barbara Medal in 2007, UCSB's highest award, in recognition for their philanthropy and service to the university.

*Former Board Chair

John Kimberling

Hila Plitmann

Kim Josephson

Lauren Flanigan

Scott Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz

Victoria Hart

 

Berta / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Mamma Lucia / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

J.R. Calvert

Matthew Edwardsen

Ani Maldjian

Paul Sahuc

Leigh Allen

. Theatre Company of Upland

Eugene Opera

Miller James

Robert Ashens

Chad Berlinghieri

Jeffrey Springer

Terry Cook

Eugene Chan

Janette Zilioli

Ciera Lamborn

Jamie Offenbach

 

Don Basilio / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Tom Ruzika

Chautauqua Opera

Derrick Parker

Rena Harms

 

Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Micaëla / Carmen

March 2009 (debut)

Michael Hayes

Career highlights have included Don José in Carmen and Danillo in The Merry Widow with New York City Opera, FloridaGrand Opera, and Portland Opera; Cavaradossi in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara; Radames in Aida with Manitoba Opera, Portland Opera, and Nashville Opera; the title role in Otello with Opera de Nantes and Amsterdam's RAI-Theater; the title role in Les Contes D’Hoffmann and Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer with Fort Worth Opera; the title roles in Faust, Les Contes D’Hoffmann, and Werther with Portland Opera; the title roles in Les Contes D’Hoffmann and Faust with Cleveland Opera; Calaf in Turandot with Knoxville Opera, Edmonton Opera, Virginia Opera, Calgary Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera North; Rodolfo in La bohème with New York City Opera, Portland Opera, and Austria's Kamptal Festival; Schwalb in Mathis der Mahler

Emily Langford Johnson

Vernon Hartman

 

Baron Scarpia / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Nir Kabaretti

Michael Jackowitz

Matt Williams

David Lander

Alejo Vietti

Heidi Ettinger

Craig Hart

Michael Wanko

Nicolai Janitzky

Robert McPherson

 

Count Almaviva / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Don Ramiro / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Susan Holsonbake

Daniel Narducci

Barbara Divis

 

Micaëla / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Nedda / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Mark Somerfield

Jean-François Revon

Layna Chianakas

 

Carmen / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Allan Glassman

 

Turiddu / Cavalleria Rusticana

February 2008

 

Canio / Pagliacci

February 2008

 

Manrico / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Don José / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Michael Stevens

Brian Hotchkin

Brian Hotchkin is a baritone, vocal instructor, stage director and arts administrator based in Santa Barbara, CA.

Prior to his career in arts administration, Brian performed opera and music theater with companies including Virginia Opera, Opera New Jersey, Opera Santa Barbara, Chamber Opera Chicago, and the Aspen Music Festival. Brian began his association with Opera Santa Barbara as a studio artist, singing Papageno in The Magic Flute. He went on to serve as Company Manager and Artistic Administrator for the company. He was chosen to participate in Opera America's Leadership Intensive.

Brian is an experienced voice teacher and vocal coach with a private studio in Santa Barbara. He is also an adjunct voice faculty member at Ventura College and prior to that, was on the voice faculty at Resound Northwest in Portland, OR. As a stage director, Brian has led productions of Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza and Sweeney Todd for Ventura College.

Brian holds degrees from DePaul University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Deborah Bertling

 

Sister Genovieffa / Suor Angelica

April 2016

 

Nella / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Reporter /
Séance on a Wet Afternoon

September 2009

 

Olga / The Merry Widow

March 2009

 

Queen of the Night /
Magic Flute for Families

October 2008

 

Sandman & Dew Fairy /
Hansel and Gretel
for Families

October 2007

 

Elvira /L'italiana in Algeri

March 2005

 

Kate Pinkerton / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Michael Katz

Utah Opera

Thorsteinn Arbjörnsson

Yefim Maizel

Simon Lee

Sara Campbell

Daniel Sutin

Greg Baber

Peter Frisch

James Marvel

Anna Vikre

Richard Crawley

Fabiana Bravo

Franco Colavecchio

Todd Jared

Matthew Treviño

John Sauvey

Nikolaus Schiffmann

Tihana Herceg

 

Lola / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999

 

Hansel / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994

 

Prince Orlofsky / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Hanan Alattar

Michael Corvino

Stephanie Sundine

 

Stage Director / La traviata

December 2000

Mark Johnson

Roger Cantrell

Teresa Brown

 

Suzuki / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Sarah Viola

Erika Bucholz

David Small

Kanga LaVrado

Gina Bellino

Joan Maria Tornes

 

Adele / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Julianne Tillinghast

Nichole Dechaine

Krista Wigel

Oksana Krovytska

Daniel Wachs

Carol Lucas

Andre Schillo

Julia Kermott

Ken Smithfield

Andreas Beckett

Michael Gallup

Ronald Li-Paz

Todd Thomas

 

Sir John Falstaff / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Scarpia / Tosca

February 2006 (debut)

Amy Johnson

 

Floria Tosca / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

William Stone

Robert MacNeil

Olga Chernisheva

Jane Ohmes

Jane Hahn

 

Tisbe / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Christina Ikeda

Charlene Chi

Julia Frenkel

Saundra de Athos

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Ryan Kuster

Sarah Chrisman

Sarah Schlinger Chrisman co-founded a Silicon Valley telecommunications company in the early 1980s
with Roger Chrisman who later became her husband. She served as CFO and Treasurer until her
retirement. The company went public in 1985 and has been listed on the NYSE since 1987.

She grew up in Pasadena and holds degrees in Computer Science and Music from Stanford University
and an MBA in Finance from UC Berkeley.

In addition to her position on the Opera Santa Barbara Board of Directors, Sarah is the current President
of the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts which owns and operates the Granada
and sits on the Opera Santa Barbara board. She is the Chief Financial Officer of the Warren and
Katharine Schlinger Foundation and trustee of the Schlinger Chrisman Foundation.

Roger and Sarah moved to Santa Barbara with their daughter in 1999.

Evan Hughes

Shon Sims

Joshua Winograde

Neal Harrelson

Ricardo Herrera

Ryan Taylor

John Osborn

Linda Pavelka

Joseph Bascetta

Shu-Ying Li

Susan Foster

Robin Follman

Carlo Scibelli

 

Ernesto / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

The Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Alfredo Germont / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Chuck Hudson

Cal Stewart Kellogg

Christopher Carroll

Alexia Tillinghast-Trickett

Amanda Ryvkin

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Cindy Sadler

Cynthia Thurber

Karen Vuong

Nova Safo

Patryk Wroblewski

Bojan Knezevic

Jonathan Boyd

Fenlon Lamb

 

Director / Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Dorabella / Così fan tutte

March 2004 (debut)

Renée Sousa

 

Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Ray Hornblower

 

Don Ottavio / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Steven C. Kemp

 

Scenic Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015

 

Scenic Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Scenic Designer / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Diana Cantrelle

 

Mother /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Cynthia Clayton

 

Mimì / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996 (debut)

Raymond McLeod

 

Commendatore / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Alayne Faraone

 

Zerlina / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Gabriel Vamvulescu

 

The Sacristan / Tosca

November 2013

 

Colline / La bohème

November 2011

 

Doctor Grenvil / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Gabriel Manrox

Michael Krzankowski

 

Malatesta /Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

2011 Studio Artist

Lawrence Edelson

Daniel Montenegro

Sara Gartland

Maya Lahyani

Ao Li

Brent Wilson

 

Conductor / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master

2011–2015

Josh Epstein

 

Lighting Designer / Tosca

November 2013

 

Lighting Designer /
Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Lighting Designer /
La Serva Padrona
& Trouble in Tahiti

April 2011 (debut)

Martin T. Lopez

Christopher Maravich

 

Lighting Designer / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Erik Flatmo

Elizabeth Poindexter

Igor Viera

Andrew Park

Steve Grabe

Utah Opera

Michael Hayes

Jane Shaulis

Bray Wilkins

Kelsey Lee Smith

Aaron Refvem

Benjamin Brecher

Benjamin Brecher, tenor, has performed over fifty operatic roles and sung with over fifty symphonies throughout the world. He has performed over ten roles with The New York City Opera beginning in 1997, specializing in the bel canto opera repertoire. Other performances include: Santa Fe Opera, Opera de Montreal, Opera de Nice, and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. On the concert stage, he has sung with the orchestras of Chicago, Chautauqua, Mexico City, Rome, Seattle, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Budapest, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Toronto Symphony Milwaukee, and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center to mention a few. 2015-2016 will bring: Beethoven’s Ninth in Santa Rosa, Carmina Burana with Florida Symphony, Holiday ‘Pops’ concerts with The Jacksonville Symphony, along with the role of Gerald in Lakmé in Fresno and the world Premiere performances of Shot! A World Changed, an opera about the assassination of President McKinley in Buffalo. Also in 2015 his tenth commercial CD will be released, “Forgotten Liszt”, with Robert Koenig, pianist. The recording will include five world premiere recordings of lost Liszt songs and other of his rare works along a tour of recitals in Fresno, Modesto, Long Beach, and in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen Scotland. Professor Brecher is an Associate Professor at UCSB.

Michael Marcotte

Caroline Worra

Gabriel Manro

Edyta Kulczak

 

Rosina / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Emil Cristescu

 

Doctor Bartolo / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Doctor Grenville / La traviata

December 2000

 

Prince Yamadori / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Don Alfonso / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

The Sacristan / Tosca

September 1997

 

Leporello / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Alcindoro / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Moralès / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Aram Barsamian

 

Dancaïro / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Doctor Malatesta / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Kristin Noelle Anderson

Bradley Garvin

Todd Robinson

Shana Blake Hill

James Anest

 

Zuniga / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Marullo / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Schaunard / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Zuniga / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Mel Ulrich

Nina Yoshida Nelsen

Mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen has been hailed as a “rich voiced, expressive mezzo-soprano” by San Francisco Classical Voice and “appealingly direct and honest in tone and bearing” by Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe. Nina was most recently seen at Opera Santa Barbara as the Secretary in The Consul (2014). Previous performances with the company include both Kate Pinkerton (2003) and Suzuki (2012) in Madama Butterfly. Her Suzuki has also been heard at New York City Opera, Utah Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Sarasota Opera, Manitoba Opera, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, and at Royal Albert Hall in London. Ms. Nelsen has performed leading roles in the world premieres of several important new operas, including the role of Mama in Jack Perla's An American Dream with Seattle Opera, Khanh in Huang Ruo's Bound and the role of Woman in Marty Ragen's Memory Stone (both with Houston Grand Opera). Other operatic highlights include the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors at Avery Fisher Hall and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Utah Opera. Ms. Nelsen is also in-demand as a concert soloist. She has sung the alto solo in Beethoven’s Symphony #9 at Carnegie Hall, with the Santa Fe Concert Association, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. She has sung Verdi's Requiem with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Mozart's Requiem with the Santa Barbara Symphony and the Southwest Florida Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Santa Barbara Symphony and the Peoria Symphony, and Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with the Grand Junction and Flagstaff Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Nelsen has received awards and recognition from the Gerda Lissner, Profant, and Santa Barbara's Performing Arts Scholarship Foundations; she was a National Finalist in the vocal competitions of the Jensen Foundation, the Loren L. Zachary Society, and the Metropolitan Opera. She is a 2009 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, where she studied with Bill Schuman; she is also an alumna of the Opera Institute at Boston University.

Victoria Robertson

Christopher Hawks

Ken Ryals

 

Marquis d'Obigny / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Jonathan Beyer

Lucas Harbour

Matthew Peña

Mihoko Kinoshita

Steven Harrison

Heather Sterling

Heather Sterling is an accomplished makeup artist and hair stylist with a wide range of experience that includes work in theater, film, print, and fashion. She is a licensed cosmetologist and has a degree in fine art with an emphasis in psychology. Armed with an extensive knowledge of period makeup and hairstyles, Heather first designed for Opera Santa Barbara in 2006 for the company's performances of Tosca; since then her work has been seen in nearly forty OSB productions. She regularly designs for the Music Academy of the West's summer operas and she recently designed for the Granada Theatre's A Christmas Carol.

 

Hair & Makeup Designer / Tosca

February 2006 (debut)

Tracy Saliefendic

 

Santuzza / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

Joseph Meyers

 

Beppe / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Michael Davidson

 

Alfio / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

 

Tonio / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Vladimir Shcherbakov

 

Canio / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Ian Campbell

 

Stage Director /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Anthony Roth Costanzo

 

Cherubino / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Kelley Nassief

 

Countess Almaviva / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Dean Elzinga

 

Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

David Stoneman

 

Alidoro / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Silvio / Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Sharpless / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Carol Ann Manzi

 

Violetta Valéry / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Joshua Schneyer

 

Fiorello / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

Roberto Perlas Gomez

 

Figaro / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Hector Vasquez

 

Escamillo / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Count di Luna / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Marcello / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996 (debut)

Ross Neill

 

Don José / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Justin Plank

 

Moralès / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Erik Sparks

William Gorton

Christina Bouras

Adina Aaron

David Britton

Daniel Cory

Andrew Eisenmann

 

Doctor Falke / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Daniel Ebbers

 

Eisenstein / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Irina Mishura

 

Azucena / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Carmen / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Ventura Limoncello Company

The Ventura Limoncello Company was founded in 2007 by James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling. With the mission to the be premier producer of Limoncello liqueurs in the United States, the company uses the recipe handed down to Manuela from her Nonna in Italy. Ventura County is home to some of the most amazing lemons in the world and their peels make a world class Limoncello. Due to the year round lemon growing season, Ventura Limoncello Company produce Ventura Limoncello in small batches all year, working directly with local Ventura County growers who pick tree-ripened lemons. Ventura Limoncello's liqueurs are all natural and handcrafted. Peeling the fruit by hand ensures only the top layer of peel containing the oils are used without any pith. These natural processes produce aromatic and full flavored liqueurs. Ventura Limoncello Originale was released in February, 2008. Awarded the Gold Medal at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Ventura Limoncello Originale has been America's highest rated Limoncello 3-years in a row. Ventura Limoncello Crema was released in October, 2008 and was awarded Gold Medal at the 2010 LA SIP Awards.

 

Brad Dalton

 

Director / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Director / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

Yannis Adoniou

Rhoslyn Jones

Christopher Bengochea

 

Mario Cavaradossi / Tosca

November 2013

 

Rodolfo / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

Jason Detwiler

Jan Cornelius

Bodo Igesz

 

Stage Director / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Stage Director / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Stage Director / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Stage Director / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Stage Director / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Stage Director / Tosca

September 1997

 

Stage Director / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Stage Director / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Stage Director / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Marcus DeLoach

 

Count Almaviva / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Shannon Coulter

 

Susanna / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Adele / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Despina / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Deborah Mayhan

 

Clorinda / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Douglas Nagel

 

Don Magnifico / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Scott Hendricks

 

Dandini / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Christine Abraham

 

Angelina / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Brad Keating

 

Giorgio Germont / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Gabriel Reoyo-Pazos

 

Alfredo Germont / La traviata

December 2000

 

Turridu / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999

 

Alfred / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Ricardo Pereira

 

Gastone / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Frederic Griesinger

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

December 2000

 

The Bonze / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Ferrando / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Monterone / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Colline / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Dancaïro / Carmen

August 1996

 

King Melchior /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Emile Fath

 

Rigoletto / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Giorgio Germont / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Elaine Arnett

Paul Polivnick

 

Conductor / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Randolph Locke

 

Mario Cavaradossi / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Irving Edgerton

Michael Grossmann

Jane Dutton

 

Dorabella / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Tony Miratti

 

Frosch / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Rosemary Wagner-Scott

 

Rosalinde / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

William Christensen

Dauri Dennedy

Lori Phillips

 

Leonora / Il trovatore

January 1999 (debut)

Arthur Allen Seidelman

 

Stage Director / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Shieh-Yih Lim

 

Goro / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Greg Fedderly

 

Lt. Pinkerton / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Guiping Deng

 

Cio-Cio-San / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

The Tent Merchant

The Tent Merchant is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of John and Sherine Leenhouwers. A full-service event rental company, the Tent Merchant provides much more than just standard tables, chairs, and linens. The Tent Merchant specializes in authentic tents and accessories from India and Morocco, and continues to provide its clients with special and unique experiences that will transport any event from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Via Maestra

Vespa Thousand Oaks

Located in the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall, Vespa Thousand Oaks is a full service Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi dealer. This family owned and operated store provides customers with everything they need for an enjoyable riding experience.

Britt Jewett- Studio 7

Noted Santa Barbara architect Britt Jewett is the owner of Studio 7 Architecture and Allied Arts.  In addition to his busy private client portfolio, Britt served as the lead architect for for the Restoration of the Santa Barbara Courthouse's Hall of Records and has provided innovative art installation set pieces for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for the past six years.

Palmina Winery

Founded by winemaker Steve Clifton in 1995, and run by he and his wife Chrystal since 2000, Palmina produces a full range of wines crafted from Italian varietals grown in Santa Barbara County, California. Rather than emulating the Italian versions of those grapes, Palmina interprets the styles to growing conditions and vineyard sites with the unique characteristics found in Santa Barbara County. The wines are Italian by tradition and modern by design, and all are designed to be an "extension of the plate."

Tammy Coil

Jessica Medoff & Michael Bunchman

Husband and wife Michael Bunchman and Jessica Medoff are fast becoming one of the country's finest musical duos bridging the gap and blurring the lines between classical, music theater, art song and popular music.  As co-creators of three original cabarets, the pair has delighted audiences coast to coast with their unique blend of genres and their undeniable musical chemistry. Both classically trained, the couple met while studying music at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

First Place Winner of the 2010 Shreveport Singer of the Year competition, Jessica defines the Renaissance woman in music throughout all genres; Critic Jon Sobel says "Jessica Medoff is perfectly spectacular - If she doesn't have a fan club, someone should start one."  In addition to singing leading roles in Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Suor Angelica, Carmen, The Merry Widow, and the soprano solos in Verdi's Requiem, she has performed impressive turns in more adventurous repertoire including Judith in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and the Governess in Britten's Turn of the Screw. On the musical theater stage she has been seen as Maria in The Sound of Music, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Nancy in Oliver! and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.

Highlights of Michael's solo career include performances with the Ridgefield Symphony, the Antara Ensemble of New York City, the Aspen Music Festival chamber series, and the Breckenridge Music Festival.  In addition to his solo career, Michael is an avid collaborator and is currently recording a disc of French mélodies with Metropolitan Opera flutist Harold Jones.

As a pair, Jessica and Michael continue to impress audiences throughout the United States with their style, charm and commitment to text and music. Says Jon Sobel, "One remarkable thing about [the duo] is the two performers' seamless connection; it's as if they can read each others' minds, piano and voice flowing together in perfect sympathy. This makes just about any song they perform something more than the sum of its parts."

Marnie Breckenridge

Kelly Robinson

 

Director / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Director / Le nozze di Figaro

March 2012 (debut)

Evgenia Chaverdova

Dean Williamson

Brandon Cedel

Kristin Noelle Anderson

 

Mercédès / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Flora Bervoix / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Celeste Tavera

 

Gilda / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Frasquita / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Clifton Romig

 

Sparafucile / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Carlos Aguirre

 

Spoletta / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Juan Sanchez Lozano

 

Cesare Angelotti / Tosca

September 1997

 

Doctor Grenville / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Julia Kierstine

 

Fiordiligi / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Matthew Carey

 

Guglielmo / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

John Bellemer

 

Ferrando / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Carmen Or

 

Stage Director / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Director / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Christopher Story VI

Sujung Kim

 

Norina / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Tatyana Rashkovsky

 

Prince Orlofsky / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Maddelena / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Donald Sherrill

 

Frank / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Don Pasquale / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Mignonne Profant

 

Annina / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Frances Ginsberg

 

Donna Anna / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Violetta Valéry / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Fabrizio Melano

 

Stage Director / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Nan Maro Babakhanian

 

Flora Bervoix / La traviata

July 1995

 

The Witch / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Nathan Rundlett

 

Benôit / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Eisenstein / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

 

Opera Santa Barbara Co-founder

1993

Marilyn Gilbert

 

Rosalinde / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

 

Opera Santa Barbara Co-founder

1993

Elisabeth Anderson

 

Adele / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Sterling Branton

 

Alfred / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Camilla Kolchinsky

 

Conductor / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Laezer Schlomkowitz

 

Director / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Naomi Isabel Ruiz

Guatemalan-American soprano Naomi Isabel Ruiz is rapidly gaining recognition for her "energetic stage presence" and her "beautiful, Italianate timbre."  As a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera, Ms. Ruiz performed many roles, including Musetta in La bohème, Barbara in Casanova's Homecoming, Ines in Il trovatore, Rosaura in the American premiere of Johnathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio, Berta in The Barber of Seville and covered Marguerite in Faust, the Blue Fairy in The Adventures of Pinocchio and Leïla in The Pearl Fishers.  Ms. Ruiz has participated as a James Collier Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera where she sang the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.  Additional roles include Mimì in La bohème with the Janiec Opera Company, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Antonia in William Bolcom's A Wedding. Ms. Ruiz recently earned Third Prize in the 2010 Opera New Hampshire Competition, won First Place in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, and was a Semi-Finalist in both the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competitions. Her concert repertoire includes Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Ms. Ruiz holds both a Master of Music and Performer Diploma from Indiana University. Upcoming enagaments include Liù (cover) in Turandot for the Toledo Opera.

~ OSB Debut
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Herb Kendall**

Herbert J. Kendall is a retired builder and community developer from Princeton, N.J. For over forty years he concentrated on environmentally sound projects. His most notable is Twin Rivers in New Jersey. This PUD consisting of 3,000 families included 200 acres of office, industrial and recreational use.

Mr. Kendall’s community affiliations included Development Chair and Board Vice Chair of the Princeton Day Schools, which he built in 1965. His affiliations in California began with the development of South Coast Repertory Theatre, which is the leading regional theatre in Southern California. He continued by establishing and serving as President of the Santa Monica Arts Commission from 1983 – 1993.

In Santa Barbara, Mr. Kendall was a member of the SB Museum of Art and was partly responsible for the design and construction of its addition. He has been a member of the CAMA board for several years and served as its president from 2000 – 2003. He has also been a member of the boards of Casa Dorinda Board and the State Street Ballet. In 2003, Mr. Kendall and his wife Elaine created the Victoria Hall Theatre where they produced several plays, some of which were written by Elaine.

Mr. Kendall’s latest interests include the Bren School at UCSB and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He has recently relocated to Birnum Wood where he has begun a new challenge: playing golf, where he is the oldest pupil.

Angela Cadelago

Steven LaBrie

Ramón Tebar

Born in Valencia (Spain) and recently appointed Music Director of Florida Grand Opera (Miami, US), Ramón Tebar becomes the first Spanish conductor to lead a major American Opera Company. He also serves as Music Director of the Palm Beach Symphony. Since his arrival in the US, he has been part of the music staff of the Palm Beach and Cincinnati Operas, working on more than 30 opera productions while maintaining a full schedule in Europe. Maestro Tebar's upcoming season includes Renata Scotto's productions of La bohème, La traviata, and La sonnambula at Florida Grand Opera; Madama Butterfly at Cincinnati Opera, and Carmen at Opera Colorado [company debut]. He will also conduct concerts with the Palm Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony [debut], and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Santo Domingo (in concert with violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Maria Guleghina). Ramón Tebar began his conducting career at age fifteen, first as a pianist and then assistant conductor of the Youth National Orchestra of Spain. He has won many awards, including the Bärenreiter Prize, Medaille d´Honneur "Villa de Claira" (France) and an Award in the III International Conducting Competition "Luigi Mancinelli" (Italy). He was recently honored with the 2010 Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award by Florida Grand Opera.

~ OSB Debut

José Luis Moscovich

Sandy Urquhart

Bella Musica

Bella Musica has performed in the Santa Barbara area for more than ten years. Comprised of Laura Hackstein, a classically trained violinist who performs with her Santa Barbara String Quartet, and Dick Prato, a professional accordionist who has studied with the finest Hollywood studio musicians, as well as guest artistson guitar, cello, mandolin, harp and string bass to meet any event's musical needs.  Bella Musica has performed events throughout the area, including the San Ysidro Ranch, the Bacara, Arnoldi's Cafe, Via Vai, Italian Festa, Gainey Winery, Biltmore Four Seasons, Santa Barbara Mission, Mount Carmel Church, The Montecito Country Club, and the Birnam Wood Golf Club.

Christopher Campbell

 

Rodolfo / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

King Kaspar /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Dyan McKinney

Gabriel Olvia

 

Amahl /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Elizabeth Waterbury

 

Conductor /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Robert Waterbury

 

Marquis d'Obigny / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Lynn Houghton

 

Mother / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Elissa Johnston

 

Sandman / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Lin White

 

Stage Director /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995

 

Stage Director / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Mark E. Childs

 

Masetto / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Doctor Falke / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Roland Rusinek

 

Doctor Blind / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Rodney Baker

Rodney Baker, a Santa Barbara native, worked at Cox Communications for 30 years from 1980 – 2010, ending as the Chief Engineer. Since his retirement in 2010, Mr. Baker has become the President and Director of Projects for the Santa Barbara Courthouse Docent Council. In this capacity, he has directed the restoration of the courthouse lamps, was project manager for the restoration of the Bisno-Schall Clock Gallery and assistant project manager for the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean fountain. Mr. Baker has also supported numerous other local non-profit organizations including the United Way, Pearl Chase Society, Unity Shoppe and the Dream Foundation. He has also performed as a supernumerary in several Opera SB productions and has performed in several productions at the Circle Bar B.

The Santa Barbara Children's Chorus

Erhard Rom

Jesse Merlin

Alan August

 

Spoletta / Tosca

September 1997

 

Borsa / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Rémendado / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Vivian Vega-Rangel

 

Mercédès / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Eduardo Chama

 

Escamillo / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Claudine Côté

 

Micaëla / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Reveka Mavrovitis

 

Carmen / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Scott Reed

 

Page /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Michael Paul Smith

 

King Balthazar /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Paul Stephenson

 

Father / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Lesley Leighton

 

Dew Fairy / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Patricia Prunty

 

Musetta / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Gretel / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Theodore Plute

 

Conductor / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Jim Herman

 

Frosch / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Timothy A. Schmidt

 

Frank / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Society Jazz

Society Jazz is a quartet that captures the sophisticated sounds of mid-century jazz featuring the great standards from the 20's through the 50's with a particular nod to the great male crooners of this time, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Hartman. The group is comprised of four fine Santa Barbara based jazz musicians; Kevin Fox on piano/keyboard, Ruben Martinez on bass with brother Rene Martinez on drums and Glenn Novack on vocals.

 

 

 

Alexey S

 

Lucas Benjaminh Krech

Casey Candebat

 

Harold Mitchell /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Micaëla Oeste

 

Stella Kowalski /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

 

Young Artist

2008

Krassen K

 

Joshua Kohl

 

Fenton / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Ken Yunker

Ernest Alvarez

Darla Mattern

Darla Mattern graduated from the Eastman School of Music in May of 2006 with her Master of Music Degree in Performance and Literature.  Her roles include First Lady in Mozart's Magic Flute, Georgette in Puccini's La rondine, Hannah in Léhar's Merry Widow and Aunt Julia in Robert Ward's Claudia Legere. Most recently she has been seen as a Reporter in Opera Santa Barbara's World Premiere production of Stephen Schwartz's Séance on a Wet Afternoon. In 2009, Ms. Mattern was an Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist and a Music Academy of the West Fellow. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California, and currently studies with contralto Victoria Hart. Ms. Mattern was both an Em Green Vocal Scholarship Winner and a three-time recipient of the Sheila Allen Vocal Scholarship from the Young Musicians Foundation. Most recently she was a Finalist in the Los Angeles District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

~ Previous OSB: 2009 Young Artist, Reporter|Séance on a Wet Afternoon ['09]
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Todd Strange

Megan Beltran

Ray Chenez

Ray Chenez is an American countertenor, specializing in baroque and contemporary repertoire.  Recent concert highlights include Bach cantatas 62, 133, and 153 at SUNY Fredonia as a guest artist, and Messiah in Buffalo, NY.  Operatic highlights include the role of Arsamene in Handel's Serse, and Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Florida State Opera.  He has won Second and Fourth prize in the Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, in 2011 and 2010 respectively.  In 2008, Ray Chenez appeared as a soloist with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Missa Brevis.  He won Third Place in the Orpheus Vocal Competition in Murfreesboro, TN, and Third Place in the Suncoast Opera Guild Competition in St. Petersberg, FL. Other notable solo appearances include the role of the Israelitish Man in Handel's Judas Maccabaeus under the baton of André Thomas, Purcell's Dioclesian at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.  He has sung with Seraphic Fire, Miami's professional chamber choir. Ray Chenez holds a Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from Florida State University, where he also holds a Master of Arts Degree.  He received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from SUNY Fredonia.  His teachers include Wanda Brister, Michael Dean, Roy Delp, and Delia Wallis.

~ OSB Debut
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Keith Colclough

 

Count Ceprano / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Sciarrone & Jailer / Tosca

November 2013

 

Sergeant / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011-2012

Rebecca Nathanson

 

Nanetta / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Jinyoung Jang

Susan Benson

Stuart Kart

Stuart Kart has been a licensed certified public accountant for fifty years, and is the founding partner of Kart, Altman & Abbamonte CPAs in Sherman Oaks, CA. He specializes in estates and trusts, and is a past president of the 30,000 member California Society of CPAs. He has also served as a member of the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Born in Chicago and a veteran of four years service in the US Navy, Mr. Kart is a former long distance runner, having completed two marathons. He and his wife Sandi currently reside in Oxnard, CA, have two daughters and four grandchildren, and together enjoy participating in the performing arts in Ventura and Santa Barbara County.

Francesca Z

Adam Meza

Catherine M

Benjamin Robinson

Michelle J

Sara Jobin

Alexey Sayapin

Krassen Karagiozov

Nino Sanikidze

Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze has held the position of a Head Coach for the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera since the Programs’ inaugural 2006-07 season. She is the winner of several awards including the Marilyn Horne Foundation award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. Nino Sanikidze received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and is an alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.

Colin Ramsey

Since making his operatic debut as Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto, bass-baritone Colin Ramsey’s “majestic, orotund, ravishing bass” (Opera Today) has been heard in repertoire spanning continents and centuries. The 2016-17 season finds him making his company debut at Opera San Jose as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He continues his residence in San Jose reprising Colline in La Bohème and Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He will also make his role debut as Father Palmer in the West Coast Premiere of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prizewinning Silent Night.

16-17 will also feature several concert debuts including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Pacific Symphony, the Verdi Requiem with the La Jolla Symphony, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Symphony.

Colin’s past performances have brought him to the stages of Seattle Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Wolf Trap Opera, Austin Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has been featured as Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Collatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mr. Kofner in Menotti’s The Consul, Il Frate in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Angelotti in Tosca, the Sprecher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Giorgio in the US Premiere of Paisiello’s rarely performed Nina, and as a “sonorous” (Classical King Seattle) Cadmus and Somnus in Handel’s Semele.

Valentina Fleer

Russian-American soprano Valentina Fleer has been drawing continuous attention for her "golden voice," praised for its "shimmering clarity" and "sweetness and power." This May she will sing Musetta in La bohème at the Los Angeles Opera, where she debuted last year as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Plácido Domingo.  Originally from Moscow, Valentina grew up in New York City, where she studied at Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music. She has participated in prestigious artist development programs including San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, where she sang Adina in The Elixir of Love; Glimmerglass Opera's Young American Artists Program; and Los Angeles Opera's Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program, where she is currently in her second year.  Recent engagements include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Lake George Opera, and concert engagements at Carnegie Hall and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Later this season, Valentina will tour with the Munich Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist for Mozart's Requiem. In her burgeoning career, she has had the privilege of working with industry greats including Plácido Domingo, James Conlon, William Bolcom, Warren Jones, and Sir Jonathan Miller.  Valentina has been awarded by the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Foundation and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Kate Allen

A native of Ireland, mezzo-soprano Kate Allen will be recognized by local audiences for her performance of Baba the Turk in Music Academy of the West's production of The Rake's Progress.  This coming season, she will debut with Camerata Pacifica in a program that includes Dvorák's Gypsy Songs. Her repertoire includes the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites. She recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Conservatory Project Performances, representing the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and took part in the Lieder Alive! masterclass seminar with renowned baritone Håkan Hagegård. She holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with César Ulloa. She was a 2011 First Prize Winner in the San Francisco district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

 

John David Boehr

Andrew Firestone

Andrew Firestone is an American TV reality show personality. He is the son of Brooks Firestone, a grandson of Leonard Firestone, and a great-grandson of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey Firestone and Idabelle Smith. Andrew is marreid to actress/model Ivana Bozilovic and they have two children, son Adam Brooks and daughter Anja Jasmine.

Alexandra Loutsion

 

Foreign Woman / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2012

Keturah Stickann

Francesco Milioto

 

Conductor / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Stacie Logue

 

Costume Designer /
Gallantry & Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Costume Designer / Noah's Flood

February 2018

 

Costume Designer / Brundibár

May 2017

 

Costume Designer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Costume Designer / Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Costume Manager

2004–present

Luis Ledesma

Opera News notes that in the role of the villainous Baron Scarpia, Luis Ledesma "commands the stage with his rich, well-controlled baritone. He is convincingly devious; when this Scarpia looks at his Tosca, he conquers the diva with his eyes." Born in Mexico City, and now a U.S. citizen, Ledesma has been lauded internationally for the power and refinement of both his vocal and theatrical gifts. A graduate of the resident program at Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, Ledesma went on to win several major competitions, including the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and the Julian Gayarre Competition in Spain. He has performed leading roles with major companies around the world, including those in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago, Dresden, Graz, Lisbon, Savonlinna, and at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. This season, Ledesma performs the title role in Verdi's Macbeth with Palm Beach Opera, Scarpia in Tosca with Atlanta Opera, and Marcello in La bohème with Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico.

~ OSB Debut

Hunter Enoch

 

Angelotti / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2013

Javier Abreu

 

Lindoro /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015

 

Ernesto / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Jessica Julin

Originally from Danville, California, soprano Jessica Julin was a 2009 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Auditions. In the same year, she completed her studies at the renowned Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia (AVA), where her roles included the title role in Vanessa, Agathe in Der Freischütz, and Freia in Das Rheingold. Jessica was a student of Costanza Cuccaro at Indiana University (where she was awarded a full scholarship); she did further training in the young artist programs of the Chautauqua Institution, Central City Opera and Utah Festival Opera. She has performed with New York City Opera and Gotham Chamber Opera and she recently traveled to Milan at the invitation of the Teatro alla Scala to study the roles of Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Amelia in Un ballo in Maschera. She currently makes her home in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2014, she takes on the title role in Puccini's Turandot with Shreveport Opera.

2013 Studio Artist

Zulimar López-Hernández

 

Norina / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Reyna Carguill

Wally Coberg*

Susan Allred**

Elena Galván

Soprano Elena Galván is a native of Ithaca NY. Most recently, she was a 2012 Studio Artist at Opera Saratoga, covering the role of Grittly in Offenbach's Le 66. She has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, covering the role of Nannetta (Falstaff).  Her repertoire includes Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Clarice (Il mondo della luna), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Le Feu (L'Enfant et les sortilèges), Lucy (The Telephone), and The Fox in Rachel Portman's The Little Prince. Elena was the soprano soloist for Handel's Messiah with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and performed for Opera Krakowska in Poland.  Elena has been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (San Francisco District). Elena holds a degree from Ithaca College, where she studied with Patrice Pastore, and is completing her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), where she is a student of Catherine Cook.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

Christina Poddubiuk

 

Scenic Designer / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Christina Poddubiuk

Born in England, Christina grew up in Montreal and earned a degree in English Literature from McGill University before attending Canada's National Theatre School and applying her love of art and design to the stage. In her award-winning career, she has designed sets and costumes for more than a dozen of Shakespeare's plays at companies that include the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has designed musicals including Man of La Mancha, The Fantasticks, Carousel, and a Tony-nominated production of Jekyll and Hyde (for Broadway's Plymouth Theatre). Her work in opera includes Capriccio and Tosca with Pacific Opera Victoria, and Béatrice et Bénédict and Don Quichotte for the Canadian Opera Company. After much collaboration with both the Shaw Festival and the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, she has made the city her permanent home. In addition to her design work, she continues to study life drawing, anatomy, and portrait painting.

Philip Cokorinos

 

Don Pasquale /
Don Pasquale (debut)

April 2013

Kevin T

Eric Southern

Michael R

Marcy Stonikas

 

Donna Anna / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Floria Tosca / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Virginia Opera/John Pascoe

Theo Lebow

Tenor Theo Lebow spent the 2012/2013 season as a Seattle Opera Young Artist, where he made his mainstage debut as the First Prisoner in Fidelio, and sang Edoardo in the YAP production of Un giorno di regno. Other recent performances include Count Belfiore in Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera with San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, Scientist in Menotti's The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera, and Fenton in selections from Verdi's Falstaff at the Richard Tucker Foundation Gala. He has made recent debuts in both Weill Hall (singing selections from the Brahms LiebesliederWaltzer) and in Carnegie Hall (in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang). Recent accomplishments include an encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, semi-finalist placement in the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

 

Eduardo del Campo

 

Don Giovanni / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Lee Savage

Bibhu Mohapatra

Kevin Thompson

 

Commendatore / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Sparafucile / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Ramfis / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Catherine Martin

 

Maddelena / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Amneris / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Ta'u Pupu'a

 

Radamès / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Michelle Johnson

 

Aida / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Michael Rau

Francesca Zambello

Eric Sean Fogel

Norman Garrett

 

Amonasro/ Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Gavin Roy

Passion for great music of all genres and his ability to seamlessly and creatively blend it all together to captivate just about any audience is what makes DJ Gavin Roy stand out as one of the most sought-after party rockers on the planet. Few DJs can creatively cut, scratch, mix, sample and blend music of any style or genre like DJ Gavin Roy. His skills have earned him much respect from fans and peers alike. He has competed and won DJ battles and has been named Best Club DJ by local publications several years in a row. His love for the art of DJing inspired him to launch the Santa Barbara DJ Academy, a school for aspiring music students. He also gives back to the community through music by spinning at charitable events for AIDS research, cancer awareness, child foster care programs, and projects for children and adults with disabilities.

Mixing it up is the key to any well-rounded DJ's repertoire. DJ Gavin Roy makes his audience fall in love with the dance floor by giving them exactly what they want - and surprising them with unexpected songs, samples, mashups and remixes. As an ever-evolving artist, he is steadily drawn to new ideas, styles and techniques of his peers. By creating Gavin Roy Presents, he has pooled local club DJs and bands into a highly-acclaimed talent agency and production company for exclusive private events.

DJ Gavin Roy's dedication to his art - producing mixtapes, supporting prominent causes, starting a DJ school and DJ talent agency, appearing on radio shows, chart reporting, video DJing, and more - reveals his drive to push even further. Expect more from DJ Gavin Roy as he follows his passion for music and delivers extraordinary performances to move you and your dancefloor.

Martin Moskovits

Martin Moskovits has degrees in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto. He co-founded OHM Distributers and manufacturers Ltd., an electronics company in Toronto in 1966 which was sold in 1969. He returned to the University of Toronto to complete a PhD in chemical physics (1971). From 1971-73 he was employed as a materials scientist by Alcan Research and Development in Kingston Ontario. He returned to take up a faculty position in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto. Promoted to professor in 1982, he was Chair of that department (1993-1999).

In 2000 he moved to Santa Barbara to serve as as Worster Dean of Science at UC Santa Barbara. From 2007-2010 he was Chief Technology Officer of API Technologies in NY; and from 2011-2012 Provost at the City College of New York. In 2008 he co-founded Spectra Fluidics, a company that combines SERS with microfluidics to develop high-sensitivity molecular sensing.

Moskovits is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Optical Society of America; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; former member, and past Vice Chair of the US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee 2001-2010. He was Guggenheim Fellow in 1987; 1993 Gerhard Herzberg Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada; 1993 Royal Society of Chemistry (London) award in Surface and Colloid Science; 1995 Johannes Marcus Marci Medal of the Czech Spectroscopy Society; 2008 NanoTech Briefs, Nano 50 Innovator award; 2010 Ellis Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America.

Roger Davidson

Roger H. Davidson is Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1980 to 1988 he held the post of Senior Specialist in American National Government and Public Administration with the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Fort Collins, CO, Dr. Davidson attended the University of Colorado and received his Ph.D from Columbia University. He began his teaching career at Dartmouth College, moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara (1968-1980), where he served as chairman of the political science department and associate dean of Letters and Science. He has been a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, American, and George Washington universities, and has lectured or conducted seminars on U.S. politics and policy making throughout this country and in Europe, South America, Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and other South Pacific countries. In 2002 he was John Marshall Professor at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, awarded by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission. He was named Visiting Distinguished Political Scientist at Santa Barbara City College in 2005-2006. Dr. Davidson is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Davidson’s musical interests began early. In his youth he took piano lessons and sang in high school and university choirs. His passion for opera (and Broadway musicals) blossomed during his years in New York City as a graduate student at Columbia University—hearing legendary singers at the old (and new) Metropolitan Opera House. In Washington, DC, he subscribed to the Washington National Opera; he has attended many opera performances in the US and abroad.

Dr. Davidson is co-chair of the UCSB Affiliates, board member of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, and a docent for both the Architectural Foundation and the Santa Barbara Historical Society. He and his wife Nancy subscribe to and support OSB, Santa Barbara Symphony, Camerata Pacifica, UCSB’s Arts and Lectures series, and CAMA. They are members of the Council of Contributors of the Music Academy of the West and especially follow their vocal music program. Dr. Davidson serves on MAW’s Advancement Committee.

Adam Richardson

Baritone Adam Richardson, a native of Virginia, received his master of music degree from the Juilliard School in 2011. While there, he performed the roles of Betto in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Javelinot in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites. He was also a part of the inaugural Juilliard+Met collaboration production of Smetana's Bartered Bride conducted by James Levine. Most recently, he performed the roles of Jake/Porgy in Porgy and Bess and the Wolf in Barab's Little Red Riding Hood as part of the Cincinnati Opera's Resident Artist Touring Program. Mr. Richardson also holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is an alumnus of training programs including the Brevard Music Festival and Opera North. He has been awarded by Harlem Opera Theatre, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and by the Lotte Lenya Competition.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

Robert Watson

 

Nika Magadoff / The Consul

April 2014

 

Spoletta / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2013

Efraín Solís

Jennifer Panara

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara's voice has been praised its "immense brilliance and versatility" (General-Anzeiger Bonn). An active performer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Panara was recently praised for her "delightful and spirited" portrayal of Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette) with Livermore Valley Opera. Her repertoire includes the title role of Handel's Rinaldo, Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Angelina (Cenerentola), Orlofsky (Fledermaus), Mercédès (Carmen) and Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld). She has performed with companies including Pocket Opera, Martinez Opera, and Capitol Opera Sacramento. She received critical acclaim abroad for her "flawless interpretation" of Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder with the Philharmonischer Chor Bonn in Germany; she will return next season for a concert of works by Claude Debussy. Other upcoming engagements include Isolier in Rossini's Le Comte Ory, and Schumann's Frauenliebe und leben with pianist Elena Levina. Ms. Panara holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; she was an apprentice artist with Opera Saratoga and studied at CCM's summer training program in Spoleto, Italy. Ms. Panara is a 2012 Apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera.

* 2012-2013 Studio Artist
~ OSB Debut

Julie Adams

 

Anna Gomez / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Gregory Gerbrandt

 

Stanley Kowalski /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Beverly O'Regan Thiele

 

Blanche DuBois /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Christopher Allen

 

Conductor / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Stefano de Peppo

 

Gianni Schicchi /
Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Mustafà /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Eve Gigliotti

 

Isabella / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Craig Kier

 

Conductor / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Cody Austin

 

Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Evan Brummel

 

Rigoletto / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Andrea Carroll

 

Gilda / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Luis Alejandro Orozco

An El Paso, Texas native, Mexican-American Baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco has been praised for his “voluminous baritone and beautiful legato.” He made his Opera Santa Barbara debut as Assan in The Consul in 2014; he returned as Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri in 2015 and as Belcore in The Elixir of Love in 2016. Luis began the 2017-2018 season with Mill City Summer Opera as El Payador in Maria de Buenos Aires, a role he has also performed with Florida Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, Anchorage Opera, Nashville Opera, New Orleans Opera and Fort Worth Opera. He also makes his debut with San Diego Opera as Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, and returns to Anchorage Opera as Hannah Before in As One. Previous seasons have included performances of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Florentine Opera and Syracuse Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Michigan Opera Theater, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Opera Grand Rapids, and Austin Lyric Opera, Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas with Washington National Opera and Arizona Opera, Perichaud in La Rondine with Opera Theater of St. Louis, the title role in Don Giovanni with Opera Western Reserve, and Marcello in La bohème with Kentucky Opera. Overseas, Orozco has performed the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, with The Seoul International Opera Festival in South Korea, and the title role in Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino with the CCM Spoleto Festival. Orozco was a part of the Kennedy Center World Stages Festival in the premiere staged reading of Fallujah by composer Tobin Stokes in 2013.

 

Carla Jablonski

 

Vera Boronel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Kirk Eichelberger

 

Secret Police Agent / The Consul

April 2014

 

The Bonze / Madama Butterfly

October 2003 (debut)

Buffy Baggott

 

The Mother / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox is the Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. Since he assumed the post in 2006, he has directed many productions for the company, including Ghosts, Creditors, Buried Child, Take Me Out, Visiting Mr. Green, and most recently, The Liar and Crime and Punishment. He has worked abroad in Germany and Austria, directing A Streetcar Named Desire, Old Wicked Songs, Crimes of the Heart, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Prior to joining Ensemble, Jonathan helped establish New Jersey's Two River Theater Company, serving as Managing Director from 1994-'99 and Artistic Director from 1996-2006. During his tenure, he directed over a dozen acclaimed productions, including Peter Brook's adaptation of the opera Carmen. His production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was profiled in American Theatre Magazine, as was his festival of work by Samuel Beckett. His productions have been seen in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cologne, Frankfurt and Vienna, and have received critical acclaim from publications including The New York Times, Variety, and The LA Times. He received his MFA from Columbia University and is a recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for German studies. He has served as adjunct faculty at UCSB, Monmouth University in New Jersey, University of Utah, and Columbia University.

Joshua Jeremiah

 

John Sorel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Alexandra LoBianco

 

Magda Sorel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Catherine Cook

 

Dame Quickly / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Lee Poulis

Lee Poulis is “virile and heroic in both appearance and vocalism” (Opera News) and has been praised for his “dark baritone, rich in color.” Twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt, Mr. Poulis has performed at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin, Teatro Real of Madrid, the Opera of Bilbao, and the Teatro Municipal of Santiago. He performed the title role in the national premieres of Doctor Atomic in Germany and at the Finnish National Opera. In the 2017-18 season, he appeared in Handel's Messiah with the Florida Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Long Beach Camerata, Bach's Mass in B Minor with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, and Cantata #82, "Ich habe genug" with the Jacksonville Symphony. Career highlights include Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles with Fort Worth Opera and Sarasota Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Dayton Opera and the Belleayre Festival Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Toledo Opera and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore and Theater Chemnitz (Germany), the title role of Don Giovanni with Sarasota Opera, and Heathcliff in Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights with Minnesota Opera. He was a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn, where he performed roles including Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Pantalon in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Germont in La traviata, Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, and Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur. His frequent appearances at Washington National Opera include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, and Senator Raitcliffe in the world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s Democracy. He has also been on the roster of San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his his Opera Santa Barbara debut as Ford in Falstaff in 2014. Mr. Poulis’ concert engagements include baritone soloist in Handel's Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and in the Mozart, Fauré, and Brahms Requiem settings with organizations such as the Masterworks Chorale, Kansas City Symphony, American Youth Symphony, Waltham Philharmonic, the Atlantic Union College and the Gemini Youth Orchestra. Mr. Poulis has also appeared in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as well as in Washington D.C. with the Washington Vocal Arts Society. Lee Poulis won first prize in the 2008 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, the 2008 Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition, and the 2007 Chester Ludgin International Verdi Baritone Competition, as well as an Encouragement Award recipient in the 2008 George London Foundation Awards competition. He is an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and Music Academy of the West. Mr. Poulis is a graduate of Harvard University.

 

 

Melody Moore

 

Alice Ford / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Ramón Tebar

Born in Valencia, Spain, and recently appointed Music Director of Florida Grand Opera, Ramón Tebar becomes the first Spanish conductor to lead a major American Opera Company. He also serves as Music Director of the Palm Beach Symphony. Since his arrival in the US, he has been part of the music staff of the Palm Beach and Cincinnati Operas, working on more than 30 opera productions while maintaining a full schedule in Europe. Maestro Tebar's upcoming season includes Renata Scotto's productions of La bohème, La traviata, and La sonnambula at Florida Grand Opera; Madama Butterfly at Cincinnati Opera, and Carmen at Opera Colorado (company debut). He will also conduct concerts with the Palm Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony (debut), and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Santo Domingo (alongside violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Maria Guleghina). Ramón Tebar began his conducting career at age fifteen, first as a pianist and then assistant conductor of the Youth National Orchestra of Spain. He has won many awards, including the Bärenreiter Prize, Medaille d´Honneur "Villa de Claira" (France) and an Award in the III International Conducting Competition "Luigi Mancinelli" (Italy). He was recently honored with the 2010 Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award by Florida Grand Opera.

~ OSB Debut

Christopher Larkin

 

Conductor / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Francesca Patruno

As Patron Services Associate, Francesca Patruno works to provide the best possible service to the donors, subscribers and patrons of Opera Santa Barbara. Prior to working with OSB, Francesca worked for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra in a similar capacity. Ms. Patruno is also a Wedding Officiant, helping couples make meaningful marriage ceremonies.

Tyler Thompson

 

Bardolfo / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Robert Norman

Having been praised for comedic skills with "impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor," Robert Norman is a character tenor on the rise. He has performed nationally with L.A. Opera, Opera San José, Opera San Luis Obispo, Union Avenue Opera, and Opera Las Vegas. Mr. Norman is an L.A. District winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is an alumnus of the Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist Program. He is a frequent performer with L.A. Opera's outreach programs, and has thrilled audiences as a monster hot dog, a game show host, and Mr. Mozart himself. In 2015, Robert made company debuts with Townsend Opera and Fresno Grand Opera as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire, and at Long Beach Opera as one of the two Tritones in the U.S. Premiere of Gavin Bryars' Marilyn Forever. His performance of Pedrillo / Spock in Pacific Opera Project's Star Trek adapted Abduction from the Seraglio received rave reviews describing his perfomance as "one of the highlights of the evening."

Mariya Kaganskaya

Mariya Kaganskaya's recent highlights include performing Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti), Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea), and the title role of Serse at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, performing Olga (Eugene Onegin) with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and covering the role of Elena in the American premiere of Adam Gorb's Anya17 for Opera Parallèle. Her other full roles include Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), Volupia (L'Egisto), and Foreign Singer/Lady with a Hat Box (Postcard from Morocco); favorite partial roles include Charlotte (Werther), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Marta (Iolanta), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), The Fox (The Little Prince), and Mme Pernelle (Tartuffe). Upcoming engagements include the world premiere of Elinor Armer's song cycle Will You, Won't You? at Old First Concerts and travelling to Suzhou, China, for the iSing International Festival this summer. An alumna of UC San Diego and a 2013 OperaWorks Advanced Artist, Mariya is currently a graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory, in the studio of Catherine Cook.

Molly Jane Hill

 

Eunice Hubbell /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Catherine Miller

Pianist/coach Catherine Miller returns to Opera Santa Barbara for her third production (Aida in 2013 and The Consul in 2014). She is a staff member of the U.C.L.A. Herb Alpert School of Music and Artistic Consultant for the Pasadena Opera Guild. Active as a recital accompanist, she has performed in Wigmore Hall in London, England; The Modavi Center in Davis, California and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  Active as a vocal competition accompanist, she has played for the Metropolitan Opera District Competition, the Zachary Vocal Competition, The Dalis Vocal Competition and Operalia. A frequent accompanist for the Opera performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, she has also worked with Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Santa Fe Opera, The Spoleto Festival, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile and for the San Diego Opera Ensemble. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, was a Fulbright Scholar at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary and holds a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School.

Molly Wilson

 

Elvira / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Zachary Owen

 

Dulcamara / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016

 

Haly / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Emma Lacenski

 

Zulma / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Katherine Kozak

Pianist and coach Katherine Kozak enjoys an active and varied career that brings her to opera companies and schools across the U.S. During the summers, she is a regular member of the music staff at The Glimmerglass Festival, where she is Principal Coach/Accompanist, and faculty for their prestigious Young Artists Program. Throughout her career, Katherine has functioned as rehearsal pianist, assistant conductor, coach, recital partner, chorus master and recitative accompanist, and her wide range of abilities has brought her to the music staffs of Florida Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera, among others. In addition to her involvement in Young Artist training programs at professional companies, she has also helped educate and develop signers at the university level. Appointments have included Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Miami (FL), Associate Coach at The Juilliard School, and coach at Baldwin-Wallace University (OH). Kozak has enjoyed collaborating with singers since age 11, when she began accompanying The Singing Angels in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Sergio González

Sergio González, tenor, recently received his Master's degree under the tutelage of César Ulloa at the SF Conservatory of Music, where he also holds his Bachelor's degree. He recently was seen as Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata and as Trin in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera. The summer of 2014 he performed the role of Don Ottavio with the Mendocino Music Festival in Mozart's Don Giovanni. The spring of 2013, he performed the role of Ernesto with North Bay Opera in Donizetti's Don Pasquale where he also covered the role with Arizona Opera in 2014. The summer of 2013, he performed the title role in Britten's Albert Herring with the Green Mountain Opera Festival. In the summer of 2012 he was an apprentice artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera program. He returned in 2014 to Kentucky Opera to sing Benvolio and cover Tybalt in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Plasson. González was also recently seen as Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Giuseppe Finzi, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and as Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. This is his second year as a Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara, last season he covered the role of Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and will cover the role of Lindoro in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri in 2015.

Omer Ben Seadia

Director Omer Ben Seadia has quickly established herself as one of the opera's fresh new voices. After working for the Israeli Opera for over a decade, Ms. Ben Seadia moved to the United States in 2012 to begin her international directing career. She made her Opera Santa Barbara debut in 2015, directing productions of L'italiana in Algeri and Streetcar Named Desire. She completed the prestigious opera directing program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2014. While at CCM, she directed numerous productions including Don Pasquale (Donizetti), Le Docteur Miracle (Bizet) and Saint John's Passion (Bach). Other recent productions include the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me by Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort at Opera Colorado, a revival of John Caird’s production of Tosca at Houston Grand Opera, Faust at Tulsa Opera, Considering Matthew Shepard in collaboration with Cincinnati Opera and the Vocal Arts Ensemble, The Elixir of Love at Naples Opera, a double bill of Der Kaiser von Atlantis/Brundibár with Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Così fan tutte at the University of Michigan, Roméo et Juliette at the International Vocal Arts Institute, and The Sound of Music at Crested Butte Music Festival. Ms. Ben Seadia is committed to the development and training of young artists; she has been on staff for the Houston Grand Opera Studio program, the Merola Opera Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival. Upcoming productions include Idomeneo at Wolf Trap Opera, Yardbird with Atlanta Opera, a double bill of Tom Cipullo’s Josephine and After Life at Opera Colorado, and the world premier of Home of my Ancestors by Nkeiru Okoye and Anita Gonzalez for HGOco.

Tatiana Vassilieva

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, pianist Tatiana Vassilieva returns to Opera Santa Barbara after coaching Falstaff, Don Pasquale and Madama Butterfly here in previous seasons. Ms. Vassilieva has worked on music staff at Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Edmonton Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera North, Boston University Opera Institute, and Eastman Opera Theatre, among others. She held fellowships at the Vocal Piano Program at Tanglewood Music Center and the Collaborative Piano Program at Music Academy of the West, and participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme in Aldeburgh, England.  Ms. Vassilieva attended the Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in both piano performance and accompanying.

Rachelle Pike

Studio Artist, Rigoletto

Winner of the 2014 MONC Connecticut District Auditions, Rachelle Pike hails from Christchurch, New Zealand. She is a recent graduate from the Manhattan School of Music with a Masters in Music in Professional Studies. She returned to New Zealand Opera in the spring of 2014 as a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Young Artist where she sang Flora in their production of La Traviata. In the Fall of 2014 Ms. Pike worked with Gotham Chamber Opera in their production of Baden-Baden and Teatro Grattaceilo where she covered the role of Priyàmvada in Alfano's Sakùntala. During the summer of 2013 she apprenticed with the Chautauqua Opera where she sang the role of Auntie in Peter Grimes and covered the role of Quickly in Falstaff. While engaged with New Zealand Opera, she was assigned the roles of Mercedes in Carmen, Die Dreite Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Her roles at the Manhattan School included; the role of Duchess in Dreaming of Wonderland, Marthe in Faust, Samira in The Ghosts of Versailles and Begbick in Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Sponsor: Diana Wold

David Margulis

 

Borsa / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014 (debut)

Elliott Carlton Hines

 

Monterone / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014

Daniel Cilli

 

Marullo / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014 (debut)

Jon DuPrau

Jon has enjoyed the passion of opera for many years and became an enthusiastic member of the Board in 2013, championing a variety of important efforts. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the Santa Barbara College of Law, is a licensed International Financial Analyst, holds several Portfolio Management designations and leads an investment management group at Alex Brown in Los Angeles. Jon serves on Opera Santa Barbara's Executive and Education Committees as well as being a trustee for the Art Foundation of Santa Barbara, on the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and on the Advisory Council of the United Way’s United for Literacy.

Rory Collins

Rory Collins has worked in opera production since 2002 with many companies in the United States. His first job was with Opera North as assistant stage manager, assistant director and director. He has worked as Stage Manager, Assistant Director, or Director at the following universities and opera companies: Opera North, Opera in the Heights, University of Texas, Florida State University, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Houston Grand Opera. Rory spent four seasons with LA Opera, six seasons with Santa Fe Opera, and three seasons with San Francisco Opera. Rory attended UC Santa Cruz for his Bachelor of Arts in Music, Peabody Conservatory where he received a Graduate Performance Diploma in Voice, and Boston University for his Master's in Music degree in Voice. He has a beautiful wife, three adorable dogs (Diesel, Tiffany and Heinrich) and is expecting a new member of the family in December.

Tim Petty

 

Marco / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016

Lee Steiner

 

Gherardo / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015-2016

Rachel Blaustein

 

Giannetta /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016

Molly Clementz

 

Rosette / Manon

November 2017

 

Bianca / La rondine

April 2017

 

Lapak; Dog; Woodpecker /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Mercédès / Carmen

November 2016

 

La Ciesca / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016, 2016–2017

Angela Mannino

 

Adina / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Cynthia Brittain

After beginning her legal career as a prosecutor in San Diego, Ms. Brittain was a partner in Santa Barbara-based Ambrecht & Brittain for nearly 10 years before practicing with the international law firm Withers in London and Hong Kong, where she was primarily involved in international cross-border planning for large global families. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2012, Ms. Brittain served as counsel at McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Los Angeles, where she focused on domestic and international estate and tax planning. At Northern Trust, she collaborates with clients and their counsel on estate planning strategies, including fiduciary and tax issues stemming from trust administration. She speaks nationally on cross-border planning.

Ms. Brittain is a member of the Estate and Trust Committee and the Tax Committee of the California State Bar Association, as well as the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She served as president of the Ventura Estate Planning Council in 2007, and is currently a co-chair of the Tax Committee for the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

Laurel Phillips

Laurel Phillips is an attorney specializing in copyright and trademark law. She currently maintains an independent legal practice in intellectual property. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, she spent 17 years as an advertising executive in New York City and Los Angeles. She is currently on the Board of the Little Town Club, is a docent at Casa Del Herrero and is a Judge Pro Tem with the Santa Barbara Superior Court. She has been a trustee of the Santa Barbara Foundation and is a past Board Member of CAMA and the Hope Ranch Homeowner's Association. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, San Diego State University and Southwestern University School of Law. She has a broad range of musical tastes, from country/western to blues, pop, rock and classical. In addition to her musical interests, she enjoys interclub tennis, bicycling and fitness classes. She holds a deep love for Santa Barbara and is deeply committed to activities that benefit the community.

Pat Andersons

Maria Kanyova

 

Angelica / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Alan E. Hicks

 

Director / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Marco Cammarota

 

Nemorino / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Leonardo Vordoni

 

Conductor / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Daniel Mobbs

 

Leporello / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Douglas Kinney Frost

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Mark Walters

 

Don Giovanni / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Fred Sidon**

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers has been a full-time resident of Santa Barbara since 2009 when she moved from Dallas, Texas where she raised five children. Her late husband J. Ben Rogers, Jr. was an entrepreneur in real estate, vintage automobiles, and a chain of barbecue restaurants. Ms. Rogers earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1985. She has professional experience in sales in the fashion industry as well as residential real estate. She is active in the Santa Barbara Women’s Club, Little Town Club, Birnam Wood Golf Club and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She also serves as a council member at the Music Academy of the West. In addition to opera, Jean enjoys bridge and tennis.

Beno Budgor

Dr. Aaron (Beno) Budgor was Founder and CEO of Aaron Budgor and Associates, a consulting firm providing technology intelligence and solutions to builders, providers, and users of networking systems. Prior to that he was CEO of the World-Wide Consortium for the Grid Institute; VP for Technology Strategies and Applications and Deputy Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems Information Systems Sector; VP and Chief Technology Officer at Science Applications International Corp. and Executive Director for Commercial Investments/Licensing and Government Programs at Telcordia Technologies. He received a BS in Chemistry, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA; and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Rochester. He has held profes­sorships at UC Davis, University of Mexico and Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of over 200 scientific and managerial papers, three books on electro-optics and lasers and one patent awarded in chaotic communications. He is a member of the Cosmos Club, is currently President of the Homeowners Association, Montecito Valley Ranch and on the Land Use Committee for the Montecito Association. Dr. Budgor is married, has two children, and resides in Santa Barbara, California.

Kostis Protopapas

Kostis Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. Under his leadership the company ended the 2017-18 season with an operating surplus, while gaining acclaim for the mainstage productions of Manon and The Barber of Seville, and breaking new ground with staged productions for both the Santa Barbara Youth Opera and the Chrisman Studio Artists.

During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, Kostis brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra, chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, and building a high-performing production team. The result was productions of both familiar and new repertoire that are counted among the finest in the company’s history.

In the company’s 25th anniversary season, Kostis oversees three mainstage productions, including new productions of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Ward’s The Crucible, a 25th anniversary gala concert, the company’s first-ever student matinee production, as well as productions featuring the Santa Barbara Youth Opera and the Chrisman Studio Artists.

In addition to successful mainstage performances, under Kostis’ leadership Opera Santa Barbara saw the creation of the Santa Barbara Youth Opera, a program providing educational and performance opportunities for school-age children, the expansion of the company’s Studio Artists program to a season-long residency, and an impressive geographic range covering much of the Central Coast in the company’s outreach and educational activities.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' long association with Tulsa Opera, where he served as Artistic Director from November 2007 until May 2016, as Interim Executive Director from November 2011 until February 2013 and as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master from 2001 until 2007. During his 15-year tenure with the company, Kostis conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics like La Boheme and Carmen to contemporary American works like Elmer Gantry and A Streetcar Named Desire. About his 2011 Barber of Seville performances, Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote, “Most impressive was the fluid idiomatic playing of the orchestra… In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently that you stop noticing he's there.”

Between 2002 and 2008 Kostis was also an Assistant Conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons. Kostis started his career on the music staff of Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis; he conducted at Opera in the Ozarks every summer from 2000 to 2004; has been a regular guest conductor at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis since 2007 and a guest conductor for the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, El Paso Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis and the Westmoreland Symphony.

Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011 and splits his time between Santa Barbara and Chicago, with his wife, soprano and stage director Cathleen Dunn-Protopapas, and their four cats, Gus, Miles, Zsa-Zsa and Gigi.

http://kostis-protopapas.com

Tara Faircloth

 

Director / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Adam Diegel

 

Ruggero / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Karin Wolverton

Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described by Opera News as “a young soprano to watch” having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality.” Ms. Wolverton took on the challenging role of Anna Sørensen in the 2011 world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with the Minnesota Opera for which WQXR acclaimed “. . . soprano Karin Wolverton, whose diamond-edged soprano shone in a sublime Act I “Dona Nobis Pacem” during mass, and sliced through the top notes of a second-act aria full of emotional turbulence as she realizes the beauty of her art is no match for the horrors of war.” Continuing her passionate involvement in new works, Ms. Wolverton returned to Arizona Opera in the 2016-2017 season for the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler. Additionally, she returned to Minnesota Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold, the Jacksonville Symphony as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as Magda in La rondine, and returned to Angels & Demons Entertainment as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Minnesota Orchestra to cover the title role in Salome. The 2015-2016 season saw her return to Tulsa Opera as Mimì in La bohème and debuts with Arizona Opera as Micäela in Carmen, the South Dakota Symphony for another La bohème, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Angels & Demons Entertainment as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Her 2014-2015 season included Fiordiligi in Utah Opera’s Così fan tutte, her debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Minnesota Orchestra, and singing Shepherd on the Rock and Brad Mehldau’s The Book of Hours with the Joya! Concerts Series and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Hill House Players.

 

Crystal Manich

 

Stage Director /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

E. Scott Levin

Bass-Baritone, E. Scott Levin is a gifted comic actor praised for his “smooth, buttery voice.” He has been making audiences laugh for the past fifteen years with his “incredibly sharp timing” in roles including Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, Schaunard in La bohème, and Falke in Die Fledermaus. Scott made his debut Opera Santa Barbara debut as Simone in Gianni Schicchi (2016) and returned as The Priest/Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen (2017). In 2015, he made debuts at Townsend/Fresno Opera as the Sacristan in Tosca, Los Angeles Opera “Off-Grand” as Babayan (Bartolo) in Figaro 90210!, and on the LA Opera mainstage as Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, starring Placido Domingo. Since 2002, Scott has sung in over twenty productions with Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis and many productions with Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles. He has also sung with many other companies in the Los Angeles area including Long Beach Opera, Redlands Opera Theater, Center Stage Opera, OperaWorks, Orange County Opera, and Celestial Opera. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Lauren McNeese

 

Fox Goldenstripe /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Isabel Bayrakdarian

 

Vixen Sharp Ears /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

 

David Kravitz


The Forester /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Octavio Cardenas

 

Stage Director / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Jeanine De Bique

 

Micaëla / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Harold Meers

 

Le Chevalier des Grieux /
Manon

November 2017

 

Don José / Carmen

November 2016

 

The Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

Feb/March 2007

 

Rinuccio / Gianni Schicchi

Feb/March 2006 (debut)

Kostis Protopapas

Named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara in August 2015, Kostis Protopapas made his company conducting debut with Carmen in November 2016.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' long association with Tulsa Opera, where he served as Artistic Director from November 2007 until May 2013, as Interim Executive Director from November 2011 until February 2013 and as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master from 2001 until 2007. During his 15-year tenure with the company, Kostis conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics like La Boheme, Carmen and Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci to contemporary American works like Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men and A Streetcar Named Desire. About his 2011 Barber of Seville performances, Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote "Most impressive was the fluid idiomatic playing of the orchestra... In any city, it's rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently that you forget he's there."

Kostis' leadership at Tulsa Opera focused on furthering the company's long-standing reputation for artistic excellence and expanding the company's commitment to contemporary and American opera. Under his leadership the company produced a major American work each season between 2011 and 2016. Other key initiatives of his tenure included the development of the Tulsa Studio Artists Program, the expansion of company's outreach and educational programs, and the forging of new partnerships with arts organizations in Tulsa and beyond.

Between 202 and 2008 Kostis was also an Assistant Conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons. Kostis started his career on the music staff of Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis; he conducted at Opera in the Ozarks every summer from 2000 to 2004; has been a regular guest conductor at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis since 2007 and a guest conductor for the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, El Paso Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis and the Westmoreland Symphony. In 2016-17 he will return to Winter Opera St. Louis to conduct La Cenerentola.

Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011 and splits his time between Chicago and Santa Barbara, with his wife, soprano and stage director Cathleen Dunn-Protopapas, and their four cats, Gus, Miles, Zsa-Zsa and Gigi.

http://kostis-protopapas.com

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo

 

Carmen / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Aaron Breid

 

Conductor /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Jason Slayden

 

Rinuccio / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Monica Yunus

 

Lauretta / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Sara Duchovnay

 

Zerlina / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Ryan Bradford

 

Masetto/ Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Richard Banks

Richard Banks, a retired CPA and longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. His three-year term began this month.

Mr. Banks earned a degree in business administration at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, before beginning his career as a tax accountant and auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co. He went on to serve as a controller and chief financial officer for a number of companies involved in manufacturing, agriculture, government contracting, and oil and gas development. Mr. Banks also worked in family wealth planning, specializing in high-net-worth individuals and family businesses. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of CPAs, the California Society of CPAs, Tech Coast Angels, and the Family Firm Institute.

His extensive involvement with local nonprofit boards has included Crane Country Day School, Transition House, Ensemble Theatre Company, the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Zoo, Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Community Environmental Council, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and the Lobero Theatre, among others.

"Richard has a background rich in cultural discernment and community engagement, and as such is an ideal fit for our organization," said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of Opera Santa Barbara's Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. "We are immensely fortunate to have an individual of his caliber contribute to the company's leadership discussions."

Joann Younger

Joann Younger, a successful entrepreneur whose ventures have included popular women's clothing stores in Santa Barbara and Sacramento, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. Her three-year term began in January.

A native of Dallas, Ms. Younger founded a development firm in Sacramento in the 1960s before turning her attention to women's fashion, opening the juniors store Sacks Howe Avenue in 1975 and later the boutique Chantilly Lace, both in Sacramento. She currently owns Renaissance Fine Consignment, which has locations in Santa Barbara and Sacramento.

"Joann is a self-made businesswoman whose keen instincts and moxie are certain to prove invaluable as we embark on an exciting new era at Opera Santa Barbara," said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of the company's Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. "Given her impressive record of accomplishment and her infectious enthusiasm, we expect her contributions to our organization to be both substantial and of lasting significance."

Kyle Naig Photo

Kyle Naig

Kyle Naig began his association with Opera Santa Barbara as a 2016 Studio Artist, working on The Elixir of Love and Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi. He returned to the company as rehearsal pianist and assistant conductor, most recently for Manon this past November. Recent performances include Laura Kaminsky’s As One with Des Moines Metro Opera, Porgy and Bess with the Glimmerglass Festival, and Tosca with Intermountain Opera Bozeman. He will return to Intermountain for Falstaff in May. This spring, Kyle will join Opera Memphis for the Midtown Opera Festival and this summer he will return to Glimmerglass. Kyle was a 2016-2017 Resident Artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and he was recently named a 2018-1019 Houston Grand Opera Studio Artist.

Christopher Turbessi

Christopher Turbessi is a freelance collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and conductor based in Houston.  For the 2015-2016 season he was an Assistant Conductor and the Musical Supervisor of HGOco at Houston Grand Opera, where he shepherded the workshops and world premiere performances of Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players, Gregory Spears' O Columbia, and David Hanlon's After the Storm, among other new works.  He also cultivated and performed on the first Veterans' Songbook recital, a project to turn the words of Houston-area veterans into song cycles by local composers.  In July 2016 he will coach and conduct for the inaugural American Opera and Musical Theater Summer Institute at Augusta University; he has also served on the staff of the Castleton Festival.  Mr. Turbessi is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, as well as young artist programs at Virginia Opera, the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and Syracuse Opera.  He was Assistant Conductor for Virginia Opera's production of Le nozze di Figaro and Chorus Master for Syracuse Opera's Madama Butterfly, Les pêcheurs de perles, and Virginia Opera's Carousel.  Mr. Turbessi holds a master of music degree in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz.

Evan Bravos

 

Harasta /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Dancairo / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016-2017

Elizabeth Kelsay

 

Lisette / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster, Bluejay /
The Cunning
Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Frasquita / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016–2017

Mary Tonetti Dorra

Born in Macon, Georgia, Ms. Dorra grew up in Texas and earned a degree in philosophy at Vassar College. Following teaching stints in Costa Rica and Uruguay she spent three years in Italy, first studying at the University of Florence and then working as a research reporter in Time Life's Rome bureau, writing about art, fashion, and film. She went on to serve as an assistant accessories editor at Harper's Bazaar and as assistant director of fashion publicity and promotion at Revlon, both in New York, and as director of special events at the May Company in Los Angeles before working as a freelance writer for Mattel. After earning a master's degree in, and teaching Italian at UCLA, she taught at UCSB.

Ms. Dorra has lectured extensively on gardens and travel, and her articles have appeared in such publications as Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times, Elle Decor, the Los Angeles Times, and Travel + Leisure. She has authored three books, Beautiful American Gardens and Beautiful American Rose Gardens, published by Clarkson Potter, and the historical novel Demeter's Choice: A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Artist.

A former Board member for the UCSB Art Affiliates, Ms. Dorra currently serves as Board secretary for the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts. Her local nonprofit efforts also have included the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Garden Club of Santa Barbara, Planned Parenthood, the Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and Ensemble Theatre Company.

James Callon

 

Prunier / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Keith Phares

 

Escamillo / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Zita:

Cindy Sadler

Gherardo:

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Nella:

Julia Frenkel

Simone:

Matthew Treviño

La Ciesca:

Sara Campbell

Betto:

John Sauvey

Marco:

Paul Sahuc

Buoso Donati:

Christopher Carroll

Gianni Schicchi, February/March 2006